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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

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Housekeeping Announcements

2.

Apologies for Absence

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 86 KB

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

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.

 

 

(NOTE: There is a time limit of one hour for the above item of business.  In accordance with the arrangements published on the Council’s website, questions/petitions are required to be submitted in writing, to committee@sheffield.gov.uk, by 9.00 a.m. on Monday 12th December. Questions/petitions submitted after the deadline will be asked at the meeting subject to the discretion of the Chair.)

 

 

5.

Members' Questions

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

 

5.2      Questions relating to the discharge of the functions of the South Yorkshire Joint Authorities (under the provisions of Section 41 of the Local Government Act 1985) and of the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority – Council Procedure Rule 16.6(i).

 

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

 

 

6.

Endorsement of the Publication Draft Sheffield Local Plan ('The Draft Sheffield Plan') pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To approve, with or without amendment, the recommendations in the report of the Executive Director, City Futures, published with this agenda, seeking approval to consult on Sheffield’s Publication Draft Local Plan (‘The Sheffield Plan’).

 

 

Additional documents:

7.

Notice of Motion Regarding "No more excuses on housing repairs" - Given By Councillor Richard Shaw and to be Seconded by Councillor Sophie Thornton

That this Council:-

 

(a)     notes with great sadness the death of Awaab Ishak in Rochdale, which was found by the Coroner for Manchester North to be a result of prolonged exposure to mould in his home which Rochdale Boroughwide Housing took no action to treat or prevent;

 

(b)     notes with concern that:-

 

(1)    the Council currently has 6,193 overdue repairs logged, as of the 23rd of October;

 

(2)    a significant number of the 6,193 overdue repairs are likely to relate to damp and mould, especially within the context of the Cost-of-Living crisis which has made it more challenging for tenants to heat their homes;

 

(3)    several Councillors have reported that tenants suffering from damp and mould issues have felt blamed for the disrepair, rather than supported to manage the issues;

 

(4)    customer complaints regarding the Repairs Service increased from 17 in 2020/21 to 115 in 2021/22;

 

(5)    the Council has received more legal claims for disrepair as of the 18th of November (682) than it received for the whole of the 2021/2022 financial year (660);

 

(6)    cuts to legal aid over the last decade have resulted in tenants finding it significantly more challenging to bring disrepair cases to court, with tenants’ only option often being to use ‘no win, no fee’ solicitors, who have targeted estates with high numbers of disrepair claims and often retain a large proportion of the awarded compensation; and

 

(7)    Council spending on legal fees and compensation for legal disrepair claims is currently overspending by £2.6m on its £2.6m budget, and the Housing Repairs service as a whole is overspending by £7.3m, contributing to the overall HRA overspend of £12.7m;

 

(c)      notes that:-

 

(1)    the Social Housing Regulator has written to Chief Executives of all registered providers of social housing (including Sheffield City Council) requesting an assessment of the extent of damp and mould issues & hazards affecting our properties, what action we are taking to remedy these cases, and our procedures to ensure that individual damp and mould cases are identified and dealt with effectively, to be provided by the 19th of December 2022; and notes that the response to this will be brought to the Housing Policy Committee and published;

 

(2)    the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has similarly written to all Council leaders with a Housing Act 2004 Section 3(3) directive to provide an assessment of damp and mould issues affecting privately rented properties, an assessment of action that may need to be taken concerning this, and data on the above for the last three years, and notes that the response to this will be brought to the Housing Policy Committee and published;

 

(3)    the Housing Ombudsman issued a report in October 2021 (Spotlight on Damp and Mould: It’s Not Lifestyle), which contained several recommendations for member landlords, including to “review our initial response to reports of damp and mould to ensure they avoid automatically apportioning blame or using language that leaves residents feeling blamed  ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.

8.

Notice of Motion Regarding "Adopting the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims' Definition of Islamophobia" - Given By Councillor Abdul Khayum and to be Seconded by Councillor Abtisam Mohamed

That this Council:

 

(a)  notes that as part of the response to the Race Equality Commission, the Council has committed to making continuous improvements, develop racial literacy and eradicate racial inequalities which exist within the Council and the services it delivers, across the diverse communities we serve, and as part of this has developed a three-year improvement plan to help the Council, and more widely the city, to become an anti-racist city;

 

(b)  believes that to better understand all facets of islamophobia it is important to have a clear definition and, therefore, suggests the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia, that “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”, together with the explanatory guidelines put forward by the Coalition Against Islamophobia, should be considered;

 

(c)  notes that Islamophobia is a growing issue, both locally and nationally; Muslims were targeted in 45% of all religious hate crime offences recorded in England and Wales in 2020/21;

 

(d)  notes that these national figures are borne out in Sheffield, with South Yorkshire Police reporting a 43% increase in reports of Islamophobic hate crimes in Sheffield in 2021 compared to the previous year;

 

(e)  notes that the records show that the majority of hate crimes targeting Muslims in Sheffield do not reach a resolution, whether that’s a charge brought, a caution issued or a community-based resolution, with fewer than 15% of hate crimes in 2021 resolved in one of these ways;

 

(f)    agrees that, as per the Public Sector Equality Duty enshrined in the 2010 Equality Act, the Council must give due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and advance equality of opportunity for members of communities with a protected characteristic, including Muslims and believes this should mean they are able to participate in society on an equal footing with their non-Muslim counterparts;

 

(g)  believes that Islamophobia is one of the principal barriers to the participation of Muslims in public, economic, political, and social spheres of life and must urgently be addressed;

 

(h)  believes that:-

 

(1)  adopting a definition of Islamophobia is essential to tackling    Islamophobia in a targeted and effective manner;

 

(2) without a definition of Islamophobia, one cannot identify how Islamophobia manifests itself and functions and therefore, cannot devise meaningful strategies to address it; and

 

(3)the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee should consider if this definition of islamophobia, and the supporting guidelines, is incorporated as part of its on-going work into the Race Equality Commission; and 

 

(i)    requests that the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee considers whether to add to its work programme consideration of:-

 

(1)    working with schools, transport companies, the police force, and other public and private bodies, to tackle Islamophobia at a local level;

 

(2)    collaborating with the local Muslim community to challenge Islamophobia and to meet their needs such that they are encouraged and safe to participate in public life;

 

(3)    taking further steps to tackle and raise awareness of Islamophobia,  ...  view the full agenda text for item 8.

9.

Notice of Motion Regarding "Moving Towards An Ethical Debt Collection Policy and Ending The Use Of Bailiffs" - Given By Councillor Sophie Wilson and to be Seconded by The Lord Mayor (Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards)

That this Council:-

 

(a)     believes that, due to the ideologically driven actions of the Government over the past decade, alongside a crisis in global capitalism, ordinary people in Sheffield are facing a cost of living crisis and looming recession, and that, as a result, household debt has grown to unsustainable levels;

 

(b)     notes that over half of all adults in the UK are in debt or seriously worried about falling in to debt;

 

(c)      further notes that last year, Citizens Advice estimated that 3.5 million people were in arrears with their council tax across the country;

 

(d)     believes that the Autumn Budget has made clear that the Government are not interested in helping residents or councils deal with the cost of living crisis and the increase in debt, instead pushing councils to increase council tax, further exacerbating the financial struggles of ordinary people and attempting to pass the blame for financial hardship on to Local Authorities;

 

(e)     notes that Citizens Advice estimate that 33% of council tax problems are caused by the way that councils collect the payment;

 

(f)       further notes that analytics group Policy in Practice have recently presented evidence that stricter collection policies, including bailiff use, do not increase collection rates;

 

(g)     recognises that being visited by bailiffs is a distressing experience which can be devastating for people’s mental health, and notes that over 50% of people in debt have mental health problems and people in debt are 8 times more likely to think about suicide;

 

(h)       notes that residents who face bailiff action are also liable for the fees they charge, which begin at £75 for the ‘compliance stage’ of enforcement (receiving a letter), and often rise to an average of £310 during the lifetime of a debt, and believes that, in Sheffield, this only serves to increase the level of indebtedness of many of our residents and siphons money out of our local economy, harming the city at large;

 

(i)         notes that in April 2018, Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council announced an end to bailiff action, and they have subsequently seen a rise in council tax collection rates;

 

(j)       further notes that Southwark LBC, Newham LBC and Bristol City Council have also recently implemented more ethical debt collection policies;

 

(k)      also notes that The Trussel Trust has reported in their ‘State of Hunger’ report that local government debt leads people to destitution and foodbank usage;

 

(l)       notes that the Debt Justice Campaign, using the National Audit Office’s calculations to the Financial Conduct Authority, estimates that over indebtedness is costing the local and national government £9.7 billion per year in extra health, social care, employment and housing support, and believes that pushing residents into debt and poverty is a false economy for Sheffield;

 

(m)    also believes that ending debt collection practices such as bailiff use, makes financial sense; and

 

(n)     requests that the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee considers whether to add to its work programme consideration of what an ethical debt collections policy could mean in  ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

10.

Appointment to the Office of Senior Coroner South Yorkshire (West) pdf icon PDF 316 KB

To approve, with or without amendment, the recommendations in the report of the Executive Director, Operational Services, published with this agenda, seeking approval for an appointment to the office of Senior Coroner South Yorkshire (West).

 

 

11.

Minutes Of Previous Council Meeting pdf icon PDF 559 KB

To receive the record of the proceedings of the meeting of the Council held on 2nd November 2022 and to approve the accuracy thereof.

 

12.

Memberships of Council Bodies and Representatives to Serve on Other Bodies

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.