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Agenda and minutes

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

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

2.

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:

3.

Minutes Of Previous Council Meetings pdf icon PDF 339 KB

To receive the record of the proceedings of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on 3rd February 2016 and the special meeting of the Council held on 4th March 2016 (Budget Meeting) and to approve the accuracy thereof.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

4.

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 Chief Executive and to pass such resolutions thereon as the Council Procedure Rules permit and as may be deemed expedient.

Minutes:

5.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes the consultation currently taking place on the Private Hire Operator and Private Hire Vehicle Policy;

 

(b)       notes that Liberal Democrat Councillors have been contacted by hundreds of people within the taxi and private hire vehicle profession who have voiced their objections to these proposals;

 

(c)        believes that some of the suggested changes to the Private Hire Vehicle Licensing Policy will make the taxi profession unviable for many people;

 

(d)       notes in particular the proposal to change the age of vehicles able to register as private hire vehicles from under 5 years old to under 1 year old and the length of time a vehicle can remain licensed from 9 years to 7 years will make private hire vehicle drivers liable for huge unnecessary costs;

 

(e)       believes the Council should be taking other measures to tackle air pollution such as improving cycle links and public transport to tackle problems with air pollution rather than through an attack on taxi and private hire vehicle drivers; and

 

(f)        therefore calls on the Administration to immediately drop these proposals and go back to the drawing board.

Minutes:

6.

Notice of Motion Given by Councillor Julie Dore

That this Council:-

 

(a)       recalls that central government has taken away around a half of its funding to the Council, resulting in the current Administration having to make savings of over £300m since the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition came to power in 2010;

 

(b)       further recalls  comments by the former Liberal Democrat MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt. Hon. Sir Danny Alexander, that local government has “borne the brunt of deficit reduction” under the coalition government;

 

(c)        regrets that the current government are continuing the approach to local government that was established by the coalition, decimating funding for local government, making significant cuts to provision in many services inevitable;

 

(d)       understands that these government cuts have made it impossible for the Council to continue to provide the same level of services, which has meant tough decisions have had to be taken about which services to protect and which ones have had to be cut; and

 

(e)       notes that despite these challenges the current Administration has balanced the books each year it has controlled the Council, and believes that the current Administration has retained its ambition for the city in these difficult times and has got significant achievements, including:

 

(i)         protected child safeguarding from budget cuts;

 

(ii)        achieved the best record for apprenticeships among the Core Cities;

 

(iii)       helped to deliver Europe’s first Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District;

 

(iv)       established Sheffield Money as an alternative to exploitative payday lenders; and

 

(v)        delivered the Streets Ahead project, which has resurfaced 350 miles of road and 600 miles of pavement.

 

 

Minutes:

7.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 126 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 -

            http://sheffielddemocracy.moderngov.co.uk/ecCatDisplay.aspx?sch=doc&cat=13165&path=0)

Minutes:

8.

Representation, Delegated Authority and Related Issues pdf icon PDF 35 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.

 

Minutes:

9.

Notice of Motion Given by Councillor Julie Dore

Minutes:

10.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Cate McDonald

That this Council:-

 

(a)       expresses its dismay at the incompetence and unfairness of the Chancellor George Osborne’s 2016/17 Budget, in particular the decision to cut £4.4bn from disability benefits which would have left 370,000 disabled people £3,500 a year worse off;

 

(b)       believes the decision to cut Personal Independence Payments for disabled people and those with chronic health problems to fund lower rates of Capital Gains Tax for the wealthiest is indicative of the Conservatives’ warped priorities and shows ‘compassionate conservatism’ to be nothing more than empty rhetoric;

 

(c)        welcomes the Chancellor’s u-turn on this decision, but believes he should apologise for the fear and worry his plans have caused many thousands of disabled people;

 

(d)       notes analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows that over 80p in every £1 spent on raising thresholds and allowances in this budget will go to the top half of households and more than 30p will go to the UK’s richest 10%, and is disappointed that the Government appear to be continuing the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government’s policy of balancing the budget on the backs of the poorest;

 

(e)       notes findings from The Centre for Welfare Reform that disabled people bore 29% of all cuts under the coalition government, despite accounting for just 8% of the population; and

 

(f)        recalls cuts implemented under the coalition government which impacted disproportionately on the most vulnerable in society, including:

 

(i)         the bedroom tax - two thirds of the tenants hit by this are from households that contain someone who has a disability;

 

(ii)        cutting social care by £3.5bn, leading to a situation in which two out of five disabled people in this country are now unable to eat, wash, dress or get out of the house due to underfunded services in their area;

 

(iii)       cutting Remploy – a scheme that helped disabled people into work;

 

(iv)       cutting Working Tax Credits for low-paid workers;

 

(v)        overseeing a huge increase in punitive benefit sanctions; and

 

(vi)       scrapping Council Tax Benefit.

Minutes:

11.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Jayne Dunn

That this Council:-

 

(a)       reiterates its opposition to the Government’s damaging Housing and Planning Bill and is concerned the Bill will lead to a reduction in the number of social homes in Sheffield;

 

(b)       notes the Administration’s support for ‘Kill the Bill’ – a national campaign opposing the Housing and Planning Bill, and a rally organised by Sheffield Trades Union Council and Sheffield Defend Council Housing, due to take place on 1st April 2016 outside Sheffield Town Hall; and

 

(c)        welcomes the Administration’s commitment to increase the Council housing stock by 1,000 units over the next four years.

 

Minutes:

12.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Leigh Bramall

That this Council:-

 

(a)       believes that:

 

(i)         the health and safety of all construction workers is paramount; and

 

(ii)        all workers should be fairly rewarded for their efforts;

 

(b)       therefore welcomes the current Administration’s decision to adopt a Minimum Standards Construction Site Charter that clearly sets out the standards expected for construction sites and the employment rights of construction workers; and

 

(c)        looks forward to working with contractors to deliver the standards set out in the Charter.

Minutes:

13.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Colin Ross

That this Council:-

 

(a)       welcomes the news in the budget that small businesses will be exempt from paying business rates, which had been called for before the budget by Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron MP;

 

(b)       believes that small businesses are at the heart of every local economy and by taking them out of paying business rates, they will have more time and money to invest in growing their businesses and employing more local people;

 

(c)        however, is concerned with the impact this will have on local government finance, when retention of business rates replaces the Local Government Finance Settlement local government is set to lose nearly £2 billion in 2020;

 

(d)       notes the Chancellor made no commitment to making up the shortfall from business rates to councils in the future;

 

(e)       believes the tax rate relief for small businesses needs to be funded sustainably and there must be measures introduced to redistribute business rate income so areas with low business rates are not penalised; and

 

(f)        therefore, calls on the Administration to pull together a cross-party delegation to go and speak to the Treasury to voice our concerns about these potential hidden cuts to local government funding.

 

Minutes:

14.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Brian Webster

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes that:

 

(i)         across the country, many public services have been outsourced to private sector providers - with the Financial Times reporting that local government outsourcing doubled in the last Parliament (www.ft.com/content/244f0bd8-eccb-11e4-a81a-00144feab7de);

 

(ii)        outsourcing has often failed to deliver the expected savings to the taxpayer, and failed to lead to better service provision - and that in-house provision can provide better value for money and more flexibility at a time of severe budget cuts, according to the Association for Public Service Excellence (www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2013/06/On-line-Catalogue201223.pdf); and

 

(iii)       research by the independent campaign group, We Own It, shows that the public have very little trust in outsourcing companies, want to see more transparency and accountability over outsourcing contracts, and want public ownership to be the default for running services (http://weownit.org.uk/privatisation/outsourcing);

 

(b)       believes that:

 

(i)         transparency is needed in the provision of public services, public service contracts and performance and financial data of providers should be available, and that freedom of information legislation should apply to private companies running public services;

 

(ii)        accountability is needed in the provision of public services, the public must be consulted about what they want from their services both in general and before any outsourcing or privatisation, and there should be a right to recall private providers of public services when they do a bad job; and

 

(iii)       people, not profit, need to be the priority in public service delivery, with public ownership the default (so a public interest case must be made for any outsourcing or privatisation), there should always be an in-house bid on the table if services are contracted out (or an explanation given why not), and social value must be a priority whenever contracts are awarded; and

 

(c)        resolves to:

 

(i)         support the We Own It campaign ‘Our Services Our Say’ (http://weownit.org.uk/public-solutions/our-services-our-say); and

 

(ii)        provide a brief statement to We Own It explaining what the Council is doing in practice to work towards the principles of transparency, accountability and people before profit, for publication on the We Own It website.

Minutes:

15.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor John Booker

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes that the medical profession takes an oath," First do no harm", and believes that it is a pity that the Secretary of State for Health, the Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP, and the Conservative Party don't take the same oath before they implement their policies in relation to the NHS;

 

(b)       also believes that Great Britain's beloved NHS, our most important institution, founded over sixty years ago, a real victory for the citizens of our country, is itself in need of emergency care;

 

(c)        further believes that our ageing population, the worrying numbers of people suffering chronic, long-term conditions, and the population explosion, are bringing the NHS closer to the abyss;

 

(d)       notes that the NHS needs an investment of at least £13 billion over the next five years, and believes that taxes must rise in order to meet this cost; that we need up to 20,000 more nurses, 3,000 more midwives, and 10,000 more GPs, and that in order to assist with this recruitment we could waive university tuition fees for new medical students who commit to working in Great Britain for a period of time; that taking care of taxpayers’ money must be a priority, making sure it is spent on front line patient care; and that the long term practice of spending as much on consultants fees as we do on the purchase of life saving drugs most stop;

 

(e)       expresses frustration over the Coalition Government’s wasted billions on a top-down reorganisation of the NHS, and over the drastic cuts to the social care budget, that now results in elderly people remaining in hospital longer than they need to;

 

(f)        regrets the real problem of so-called "health tourism", noting that, every year, the NHS spends approximately £2 billion treating those ineligible for free care, and that there is already a shortage of emergency medical consultants in our Accident and Emergency departments, and that patients who cannot get a GP appointment often turn up at A&E instead;

 

(g)       expresses concern over the spectre of the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP), this proposed EU/USA free trade agreement that is being negotiated secretively, which may force us to put many of our public services up for sale to US companies, thereby allowing the possibility of large parts of the NHS being privatised, and believes that all political parties and all citizens of Great Britain must stand together as one in defiance of this potentially disastrous event;

 

(h)       recognises that, according to Age UK, 900,000 older people between the ages of 65 and 89 have social care needs that are not met, and notes that residential care, nursing care, home care, day care and equipment budgets have been cut and that these cuts impact on the NHS, with one million hospital bed days being lost every year when patients cannot be discharged because there is no after-care service available to them, and believes that we need a fully integrated health and social care  ...  view the full agenda text for item 15.

Minutes:

16.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards

That this Council:-

 

(a)       recognises and condemns the anti-social behaviour caused by illegal motorcyclists, including damage to woodland and parks, noise nuisance, and a lack of respect for other park users; and

 

(b)       welcomes the Council’s action alongside the Police, as part of a city-wide group, to tackle this issue.

Minutes:

17.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Mick Rooney

That this Council:-

 

(a)       sends its congratulations to the Sheffield Steelers Ice Hockey Club who recently became the first team to win five Elite League titles; and

 

(b)       acknowledges the skill of the players and Paul Thompson, Head Coach and General Manager, and his coaching staff.

Minutes:

18.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Steve Ayris

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes there are around 36,000 privately rented properties in Sheffield, around 16% of our city’s population, double the amount 10 years ago and almost as many are living in social housing;

 

(b)       notes that a lack of social housing properties, rising house prices and the difficulty in accessing mortgages mean that many people, particularly the young or vulnerable, have no choice but to live in private sector rental accommodation;

 

(c)        despite this growth in the sector, private sector housing remains ‘Cinderella’ to social housing in terms of Council time and investment, and currently the Council generally only provides a reactive service to problems in private sector housing in line with its statutory duties;

 

(d)       notes that there are many good landlords in Sheffield who provide excellent, affordable accommodation and a good service to their tenants;

 

(e)       believes that prevention is better than a cure and that we, as the city council, should find a way of working with landlords and using the skills and experience of the many good landlords in our city to drive up standards in the sector; and

 

(f)        therefore, calls on the Administration to work with the appropriate scrutiny committee to develop proposals and consult the public and landlords on what can be done to improve the standards of landlords and private sector housing in Sheffield.

Minutes:

19.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Martin Smith

That this Council:-

 

(a)       believes that part of what makes Sheffield so special and unique is our local independent businesses and the community spirit in supporting those businesses;

 

(b)       believes that by keeping wealth in our city, the Sheffield Pound will improve our local economy and in turn create more local jobs for local people;

 

(c)        believes that a ‘Sheffield Pound’, a ‘community currency’ that can be used as an alternative to Sterling within our city, would be a boost to our local economy by keeping money circulating in Sheffield;

 

(d)       notes other areas have launched similar schemes which have proven both successful and popular, such as the ‘Bristol Pound’ in 2012; and

 

(e)       calls on the Administration to work with community groups to explore the possibility of establishing the ‘Sheffield Pound’.

Minutes:

20.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Aodan Marken

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes with concern what this Council believes to be a troubling pattern by the current Government of reducing local decision-making power on important ethical and environmental issues;

 

(b)       believes that this pattern is illustrated by, among other things:-

 

(i)         the issue of planning guidance in August 2015 stating that if local planning authorities do not approve or reject planning applications for fracking wells within 16 weeks, ministers can intervene;

 

(ii)        plans announced in November 2015 to grant the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government the “power of intervention” over locally taken investment / divestment decisions with respect to the Local Government Pensions Scheme (LGPS), where those decisions are taken wholly or largely on ethical or environmental grounds;

 

(iii)       proposals reported in the Daily Telegraph newspaper in January 2016 to “bring commercial shale production [fracking] within the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning regime”, which would remove decisions on fracking-related planning applications from local authority control entirely; and

 

(iv)       the publication of procurement guidance in February 2016 asserting that it is “inappropriate” for public bodies, including local authorities, to undertake procurement boycotts unless these are in line with nationally-directed foreign policy decisions;

 

(c)        believes that these steps by Government represent a concerted attack on local democracy and demonstrate that the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s claimed pursuit of a “devolution revolution” is a sham, with the localisation or centralisation of powers used opportunistically to pursue the Government’s ideological agenda;

 

(d)       believes that it is not only right but essential that the ethical and environmental concerns of local people and (where relevant) pension scheme members be taken into account when decisions are taken that impact them, and that this is most effectively done when decisions are wherever possible taken locally;

 

(e)       calls upon the Administration to oppose the Government’s efforts to remove locally-held powers over ethical and environmental decision-making in areas such as fracking, investment and procurement; and

 

(f)        directs officers to send copies of this motion to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Minutes:

21.

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Pauline Andrews

That this Council:-

 

(a)       believes that the United Kingdom should vote to leave the European Union and that by leaving the EU, the UK would be safer, stronger, financially better off and free, and that only by leaving can we regain our national democracy, and further believes that the best people to govern Britain are the British people, and that British laws should be decided by our own democratically elected parliament;

 

(b)       recognises that the EU Membership Referendum is a once in a generation opportunity to take back our own country;

 

(c)        regrets that £17 billion a year is sent to the European Union from the British tax payer, and notes that this amount of money could build 750 new schools, 10 new state of the art hospitals and could cover the costs for a period of 25 years of employing 2,000 qualified nurses, 2,000 trained police officers, 1,500 GPs and 2,000 trained soldiers;

 

(d)       notes that the UK is the 5th largest trading nation in the world, and believes that we don't need to be in a political union in order to trade;

 

(e)       further notes that by being outside of the European Union, Britain would regain its power to negotiate its own trade deals;

 

(f)        believes the European Court of Human Rights has become a danger to British democracy and that the UK would be better off without it, allowing British judges to decide how our own laws are implemented;

 

(g)       believes that by being outside the European Union, Britain would have the power to choose who comes into the UK, whereas, whilst members of the European Union, we have no say, and notes that the European Union has publicly stated that the UK has absolutely no chance of changing EU freedom of movement;

 

(h)       believes that a vast influx of unskilled labour does not benefit ordinary people in our country, as jobs are put at risk and wages undercut;

 

(i)         also believes that, with the huge numbers of migrants that have entered our country in the last decade, this puts tremendous pressure on our scarce resources, schools, housing, transport and jobs market;

 

(j)         notes that mass immigration can lead to access to free education, health care and benefits for many non-contributors;

 

(k)        regrets that while we are a part of the EU we also have to abide by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and cannot withdraw from this and the Court’s demands;

 

(l)         notes that Britain, once a great sea-faring nation with the greatest trading seaborne empire the world has ever seen, is now reduced to importing fish to satisfy rising domestic demand, with the fish imported being caught in what was previously our fishing waters and subsidised with our own taxpayers’ money;

 

(m)      believes that we can only stop this by leaving the EU and reclaim what is ours;

 

(n)       also believes that if we were out of the European Union we could make our own global trade deals, govern  ...  view the full agenda text for item 21.

Minutes: