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Agenda item

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.

Minutes:

 

Changes to Bus Services

 

 

 

It was moved by Councillor Ian Auckland, seconded by Councillor Vickie Priestley, 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 Sheffield Liberal Democrats’ own bus survey which has received over 3500 replies so far, more than Sheffield Bus Partnership’s own consultation;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

(Note: Councillor Julie Dore raised a point of order under Council Procedure Rule 17.14 relating to the accuracy of paragraph (d) of the motion as published in the Summons for this meeting.

 

With the approval of Council and at the request of Councillor Ian Auckland (the mover of the motion), an alteration was made to the form of the above motion as published in the Summons in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 17.9. The alteration deleted the original Paragraph (d) as published in the Summons and resulted in the re-lettering of the following remaining paragraphs (e) to (h) as paragraphs (d) to (g).)

 

 

 

Whereupon, it was moved by Councillor Robert Murphy, seconded by Councillor Brian Webster, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by:-

 

 

 

1.         the addition of a new paragraph (b) as follows:-

 

“(b)       recognises the need to better organise bus services in Sheffield and welcomes the efforts to do so on behalf of the Sheffield Bus Partnership, however;”

 

2.          the deletion of all the words after the words “the short consultation period of 25 days (23 days if replying by post)” in original paragraph (c)(iii);

 

3.          the addition of a new paragraph (c)(iv) as follows:-

 

“(c)(iv) the very limited information provided on the reasoning behind the review and specific proposals;”

 

4.          the relettering of original paragraphs (b) and (c) as new paragraphs (c) and (d);

 

5.          the addition of the following words at the end of paragraph (g) “, targeting communications to passengers on routes still affected by changes and setting out options with clear information on reasoning behind the proposals".

 

 

 

On being put to the vote, the amendment was negatived.

 

 

 

It was then moved by Councillor Terry Fox, seconded by Councillor Julie Dore, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of all the words after the words “That this Council” and the addition of the following words:-

 

 

 

“(a)       notes reports that across the country, bus routes have been reduced and cut back, leading to drastic reductions in bus patronage across the country and acknowledges that this issue has been prominent in national media in recent weeks;

 

(b)        welcomes that due to action taken through the Bus Partnership Agreement, Sheffield has bucked this trend, however, regrets that as Sheffield and Sheffield City Region as a whole has been hit hard due to Government cuts, it has not been possible to exempt Sheffield and the wider region from reductions in services, which will inevitably have an impact on routes;

 

(c)         welcomes that instead of complaining on the sidelines, the present Administration has taken action to listen to local feedback and force changes from the original proposals and secure the new £2 per day weekly ticket which ensures local people can travel on any local bus service at a price which has been cut by 17%;

 

(d)        recalls comments by former Liberal Democrat Transport Minister, Norman Baker, "The Sheffield Bus Agreement is good news for the city and shows what can be achieved when local councils, bus operators and transport authorities work together for the benefit of passengers. This partnership will transform passengers’ experience by making bus travel easier and cheaper" and recalls that the Liberal Democrats in government favoured pursuing the Bus Partnership Agreement, making it extremely difficult for local authorities to deliver a workable Quality Contract scheme; and

 

(e)       supports measures that would genuinely bring bus services back under local control which are not currently in place through the statutory Quality Contract.”

 

 

 

On being put to the vote, the amendment was carried.

 

 

 

Following a Right of Reply by Councillor Ian Auckland, the original Motion, as amended, was then put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       notes reports that across the country, bus routes have been reduced and cut back, leading to drastic reductions in bus patronage across the country and acknowledges that this issue has been prominent in national media in recent weeks;

 

 

 

(b)       welcomes that due to action taken through the Bus Partnership Agreement, Sheffield has bucked this trend, however, regrets that as Sheffield and Sheffield City Region as a whole has been hit hard due to Government cuts, it has not been possible to exempt Sheffield and the wider region from reductions in services, which will inevitably have an impact on routes;

 

 

 

(c)        welcomes that instead of complaining on the sidelines, the present Administration has taken action to listen to local feedback and force changes from the original proposals and secure the new £2 per day weekly ticket which ensures local people can travel on any local bus service at a price which has been cut by 17%;

 

 

 

(d)       recalls comments by former Liberal Democrat Transport Minister, Norman Baker, "The Sheffield Bus Agreement is good news for the city and shows what can be achieved when local councils, bus operators and transport authorities work together for the benefit of passengers. This partnership will transform passengers’ experience by making bus travel easier and cheaper" and recalls that the Liberal Democrats in government favoured pursuing the Bus Partnership Agreement, making it extremely difficult for local authorities to deliver a workable Quality Contract scheme; and

 

 

 

(e)       supports measures that would genuinely bring bus services back under local control which are not currently in place through the statutory Quality Contract.

 

 

 

(Note: 1. Councillors Aodan Marken, Brian Webster, Robert Murphy and Sarah Jane Smalley voted for paragraph (a) and abstained on paragraphs (b) to (e) of the Motion and asked for this to be recorded.)