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Agenda item

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Robert Murphy

That this Council:-

 

(a)       believes Sheffield's once famous bus service is a shadow of its former self following 30 years of declining patronage under different council administrations and national governments;

 

(b)       notes the recent rise in child fares on Sheffield's bus network which has resulted in a 100% increase since 2011;

 

(c)        believes the rise hits hardest a group that has no independent income and the fewest alternative travel options, a group that it is critical to educate and encourage to use public transport as a long-term way of sustaining services;

 

(d)       notes that the Sheffield Bus Partnership has abandoned its original target of increasing bus patronage in favour of a policy of managing decline, and believes it has therefore failed on its own terms;

 

(e)       believes with sufficient funding and the right approach, Sheffield's buses could once again become a very positive and well-used public service, and this should improve public health, reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, and improve access for everyone to key facilities and services such as schools, colleges, shops, employment locations, hospitals and other health services; and

 

(f)        calls on the City Region to make full use of forthcoming devolved powers included in the Bus Services Bill, including franchising of bus services.

Minutes:

 

Bus Services

 

 

11.1

It was formally moved by Councillor Robert Murphy, and formally seconded by Councillor Douglas Johnson, that this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       believes Sheffield's once famous bus service is a shadow of its former self following 30 years of declining patronage under different council administrations and national governments;

 

(b)       notes the recent rise in child fares on Sheffield's bus network which has resulted in a 100% increase since 2011;

 

(c)        believes the rise hits hardest a group that has no independent income and the fewest alternative travel options, a group that it is critical to educate and encourage to use public transport as a long-term way of sustaining services;

 

(d)       notes that the Sheffield Bus Partnership has abandoned its original target of increasing bus patronage in favour of a policy of managing decline, and believes it has therefore failed on its own terms;

 

(e)       believes with sufficient funding and the right approach, Sheffield's buses could once again become a very positive and well-used public service, and this should improve public health, reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, and improve access for everyone to key facilities and services such as schools, colleges, shops, employment locations, hospitals and other health services; and

 

(f)        calls on the City Region to make full use of forthcoming devolved powers included in the Bus Services Bill, including franchising of bus services.

 

 

11.2

Whereupon, it was formally moved by Councillor Mazher Iqbal, and formally seconded by Councillor George Lindars-Hammond, 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)       supports the re-regulation of bus services and believes it is important that the Buses Bill brings forward the radical measures needed to give Sheffield City Region the necessary tools to deliver a successful franchised bus service;

 

(b)       notes that as set out by the Government, under the Buses Bill, the only way Sheffield City Region is able to franchise bus services is through its devolution agreement with the Government and the franchised bus services will only be available to areas with devolution agreements;

 

(c)        confirms that if the Council had taken the advice of Councillor Robert Murphy and rejected the Sheffield City Region Devolution Agreement in March 2016, there would not be an option on the table of refranchising bus services in Sheffield when the Buses Bill comes into force;

 

(d)       regrets that Councillor Murphy voted against the devolution deal that included giving the City Region the ability to franchise bus services, and his actions would have, in effect, blocked Sheffield from doing something he is now calling for;

 

(e)       notes that, under the current national framework, no local area has been able to successfully franchise bus services outside London and recalls last year’s Government ruling blocking Tyne and Wear from taking control of local services;

 

(f)        believes that the motion fails to highlight the true cause of cuts to bus services and increases in child fares, which is the government’s failed austerity programme of enforcing draconian cuts to local government in addition to cuts to specific bus grants over the past six years, and notes that cuts to bus services have hit areas across the country; and

 

(g)       believes that key to making franchising successful going forward is the Government putting the necessary powers in the Buses Bill and reinstating the funding that has been lost through local authority subsidies which have caused a loss of subsidised routes and fares.

 

 

11.3

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

 

 

11.4

It was then formally moved by Councillor Ian Auckland, and formally seconded by Councillor Andy Nash, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by:-

 

 

 

1.         the deletion of paragraphs (a) to (c) and the addition of new paragraphs (a) and (b) as follows:-

 

 

 

(a)       recalls the previous Administration’s attempt to pursue a franchising model for delivering bus services in Sheffield, which had cross party support until the current Administration dropped the plans in favour of the current voluntary agreement;

 

(b)       believes that a ‘Quality Contract’ franchised model would have brought greater value for taxpayers and delivered a more consistent service;

 

 

 

2.         the insertion, in paragraph (e), of the words “, more passenger rights” after the words “ sufficient funding”; and

 

 

 

3.         the relettering of paragraphs (d) to (f) as new paragraphs (c) to (e).

 

 

11.5

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

 

 

11.6

It was then formally moved by Councillor Magid Magid, seconded by Councillor Alison Teal, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the addition of a paragraph (g) as follows:-

 

 

 

(g)       requests that all alternative sources of revenue for public transport be investigated and that the relevant Cabinet Member brings a report on this matter to a meeting of the Full Council within 3 months.

 

 

11.7

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

 

 

11.8

The original Motion, as amended, was then put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

 

(a)       supports the re-regulation of bus services and believes it is important that the Buses Bill brings forward the radical measures needed to give Sheffield City Region the necessary tools to deliver a successful franchised bus service;

 

(b)       notes that as set out by the Government, under the Buses Bill, the only way Sheffield City Region is able to franchise bus services is through its devolution agreement with the Government and the franchised bus services will only be available to areas with devolution agreements;

 

(c)        confirms that if the Council had taken the advice of Councillor Robert Murphy and rejected the Sheffield City Region Devolution Agreement in March 2016, there would not be an option on the table of refranchising bus services in Sheffield when the Buses Bill comes into force;

 

(d)       regrets that Councillor Murphy voted against the devolution deal that included giving the City Region the ability to franchise bus services, and his actions would have, in effect, blocked Sheffield from doing something he is now calling for;

 

(e)       notes that, under the current national framework, no local area has been able to successfully franchise bus services outside London and recalls last year’s Government ruling blocking Tyne and Wear from taking control of local services;

 

(f)        believes that the motion fails to highlight the true cause of cuts to bus services and increases in child fares, which is the government’s failed austerity programme of enforcing draconian cuts to local government in addition to cuts to specific bus grants over the past six years, and notes that cuts to bus services have hit areas across the country; and

 

(g)       believes that key to making franchising successful going forward is the Government putting the necessary powers in the Buses Bill and reinstating the funding that has been lost through local authority subsidies which have caused a loss of subsidised routes and fares.

 

 

 

11.8.1

(NOTE: 1. Councillors Andy Nash, Bob Pullin, Richard Shaw, Adam Hanrahan, Joe Otten, Colin Ross, Martin Smith, Roger Davison, Shaffaq Mohammed, Paul Scriven, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Ian Auckland, Sue Auckland, Steve Ayris, Gail Smith, David Baker, Penny Baker and Vickie Priestley voted for paragraphs (a) to (e) and (g), and voted against paragraph (f) of the Substantive Motion, and asked for this to be recorded;

 

 

 

2. Councillors Magid Magid, Douglas Johnson, Robert Murphy and Alison Teal voted for paragraphs (a) and (e), voted against paragraphs (c) and (d), and abstained from voting on paragraphs (b), (f) and (g) of the Substantive Motion, and asked for this to be recorded.)