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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 88 KB

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

Minutes:

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

Minutes:

4.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 363 KB

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

 

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

 

8.3       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)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.

Notice of Motion Regarding "Charges To Access Services in Hospitals" - Given By Councillor Pauline Andrews and To Be Seconded By Councillor Jack Clarkson

That this Council:-

 

(a)       expresses concern at what this Council believes to be the excessive charges being put on vulnerable patients and their families in our city’s hospitals by private companies, such as Hospedia (a United States owned company), such as  (i) charges for bedside television of £5 per day for the average package and £10 per day for the full package, (ii) the cost of incoming calls to patients from friends and relatives of 50p per minute, (iii) cashpoint fee of £2 and (iv) average car parking charges of £2.50 per hour;

 

(b)       believes it's unethical for private companies to make huge profits by preying on the patients and their families, especially at the end of life, and notes that, last year, Hospedia had a turnover of £22m in UK sales;

 

(c)        believes that whilst Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust made no money from television packages, it does receive income from hospital car parking charges; and also believes that there is no evidence of money being reinvested;and, further, understands that NHS staff are also being hit with huge car parking fines, and believes that a parking space at work shouldn’t be classed as a luxury, especially for staff working nights;

 

(d)       notes that the NHS health care service is supposedly free at the point of use, however, believes that the extra charges to access the service are far from healthy, causing additional stress to patients and their families;

 

(e)       believes it is not acceptable that some patients are being charged £10.00 per day to view a television, whilst inmates at HMP Lindholme Prison, Doncaster, pay just £1.00 for an entire week’s worth of viewing; and

 

(f)        requests that the Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care writes to the Secretary of State for Health to demand an end to these excessive charges, which this Council believes are outrageous.

 

Minutes:

6.

Notice of Motion Regarding "Universal Credit" - Given By Councillor Mohammad Maroof and To Be Seconded By Councillor Jim Steinke

That this Council:-

 

(a)       believes the Government must pause and fix Universal Credit - design issues, together with the Government cuts and poor implementation, have undermined the aims of the policy which, initially, had such widespread and cross-party support;

 

(b)       believes it is unacceptable that at present the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) are failing to pay one in four new claims within their six week period and that the impact this is having on claimants cannot be understated, as it is driving debt, arrears and even evictions;

 

(c)        notes that nationally half of families in arrears under Universal Credit have said that their rent arrears started after they made their claim; with 42% of families in arrears stating that this is due to the long waiting times to receive payment, support being delayed or stopped, or administrative errors in the system;

 

(d)       notes the widespread concern expressed by landlords throughout the country, including this Council, that paying claimants rather than landlords direct under Universal Credit is causing hardship to many claimants;

 

(e)       further notes that changes to benefit payments was piloted for council homes in Sheffield, and in the piloted areas there was a 43% increase in arrears, and this was for people who were not in arrears beforehand, and that, should similar results be found when Universal Credit is rolled out completely, the Council will be faced with a huge shortfall, and this in turn will have a significant effect on the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), and the Council’s ability to build and repair council homes, and notes that the Authority has already had to make millions of pounds of provision in the HRA for loss of income;

 

(f)        notes that this Administration made clear its reservations about the proposed changes in payments to the Government, but that the Government has failed to take heed of our warnings, and the Administration is now working closely with people who will be affected by the roll out and will do everything it can to support tenants and make them aware of the changes;

 

(g)       notes the high costs of calling the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and their agencies over issues concerning Universal Credit, with some callers having to pay as much as 55p a minute when seeking support, believes this is outrageous, and notes that Jobcentres are telling people to use the 0345 number helpline;

 

(h)       notes that this situation is thankfully being resolved, with the Government now committing to making calls to the Universal Credit helpline free from November; and that this change in government policy was widely hailed as a victory for the Labour Leader, the Rt. Hon. Jeremy Corbyn MP, after he successfully challenged the Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP on the issue at last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions;

 

(i)         backs those calling on the Government to put on hold the national roll-out of Universal Credit, and notes the symbolic vote in Parliament recently where MPs backed a pause, after Conservative MPs  ...  view the full agenda text for item 6.

Minutes:

7.

Notice of Motion Regarding "Housing Policy" - Given By Councillor Tony Downing and To Be Seconded By Councillor Kieran Harpham

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes that between 1997 and 2010, the Labour Government built two million homes, helped a million more families become home-owners, provided greater security for private renters and put in the biggest investment in social housing for a generation;

 

(b)       regrets that since 2010, however, home-ownership numbers have fallen, with 200,000 fewer home-owning households nationally since 2010, and many young people are now unable to make their way onto the property ladder as housing prices rise far quicker than wages;

 

(c)        further notes that the level of home-ownership in the UK has fallen since 2009-10 from 67.4% to 62.9% in 2015-16, the lowest rate for 30 years and, just as starkly, notes that the number of under-45s owning a home has fallen by 900,000 since 2009-10, noting the generational divide that opened as a result of Conservative-Liberal Democrat policies in Government;

 

(d)       highlights that nationally the number of people in the private rented sector has increased by a staggering 1.2 million households since 2010, with one in four families with children (1.6 million households) now renting privately;

 

(e)       believes that more and more people are renting instead of buying due to simple supply and demand economics due to seven years of failed government policies which did not do enough to provide sufficient numbers of affordable homes, noting that last year the Government built the fewest affordable homes for 24 years and Conservative-Liberal Democrat Ministers’ cut government funding for affordable homes by 60% in 2010, and that, in total, the number of genuinely affordable homes for social rent started last year was fewer than 1,000, compared to 40,000 started in Labour’s last year in Government;

 

(f)        judges that Conservative Ministers have failed to deliver one-for-one replacements for homes sold through the Right-to-buy scheme - instead only one is being built for every five sold and this is having a damaging impact on the Council’s housing stock;

 

(g)       notes that the Government is still threatening to force councils to sell off the best of their homes to pay for the extension of the right to buy to housing associations, with independent estimates suggesting as many as 23,500 homes could be forced to be sold nationally;

 

(h)       contends that the Government is also badly letting down those who live in our council homes as, despite initial rhetoric to the counter, the Government have failed to provide additional funding for all of the fire safety up-grades the Council is making;

 

(i)         notes that in the wake of the Grenfell Fire disaster, this Administration acted quickly and decisively in response to concerns raised and the Council will be fitting sprinklers in all 24 of its tower blocks, moving forward what was already planned by this Administration;

 

(j)         notes that the Authority has already spent millions on fire safety in our council homes and improvement works have been carried out over the last five years and that it had always been intended to review the policy on sprinklers later this year,  ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.

Minutes:

8.

Notice of Motion Regarding "Local Transport Services and Schemes" - Given By Councillor Ian Auckland and To Be Seconded By Councillor Richard Shaw

That this Council :-

 

(a)       notes the importance to local communities of a simple, reliable, stable and affordable bus network;

 

(b)       is concerned about the lack of effective Member oversight at the City Region/South Yorkshire and City Council/Local Ward level of local transport services;

 

(c)        calls for the Administration to seek to re-establish a City Region/South Yorkshire Transport Body and for the reintroduction of a mechanism by the City Council to give oversight by Ward Members;

 

(d)       further notes the increasing length of the list of local transport scheme requests which must concern all members of this Council; and

 

(e)       by means of re-prioritisation or re-allocation of existing resources, calls for the establishment of local based funding, under the control of local Members in order to establish a funding source for Ward-led transport schemes.

 

Minutes:

9.

Minutes Of Previous Council Meeting pdf icon PDF 348 KB

To receive the record of the proceedings of the meeting of the Council held on 4th October 2017 and to approve the accuracy thereof.

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10.

Representation, Delegated Authority and Related Issues pdf icon PDF 116 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:

11.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Report of the Chief Executive outlining proposed changes to the Council’s Constitution.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes: