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Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

To receive any questions or petitions from members of the public



The Chair reported that two questions had been received from members of the public, both after the designated time limit, but which he agreed should be considered. 




The first question was from James Biggin (Managing Director, Steel City), and related to the closure of Ponds Forge Sports Centre. 




The Policy and Improvement Officer (Alice Nicholson) reported that this issue was to be considered by the Economic and Environmental Wellbeing Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee, at its meeting to be held on 8th September 2020, and it was suggested that Mr Biggins attend that meeting to raise his question, and receive a detailed response.




Alice Nicholson read out the following question submitted on behalf of the GMB Union:-




Paragraph 3 of the report of the Head of Strategic Finance on the Council’s Revenue Budget, which is to be considered later at the meeting, notes that there has been slippage in the budget which is partly as a result of further millions being handed over to Sheffield City Trust on top of substantial subsidies being paid out in consecutive, previous years. 




(1)        Does this Committee feel the most recent handing over of public money in the sum of £15 million to Sheffield City Trust, who are now in the process of cutting hundreds of low paid jobs, as well as keeping venues such as Ponds Forge closed, with no date for re-opening, is fair when the SCT Senior Management Team suffer no detriment, even when the organisation’s business model has clearly failed?




(2)        Does this Committee believe the time has now come to bring the sport, leisure and cultural services Sheffield City Trust is responsible for, back in-house?




(3)        Will this Committee recommend to the Leader and relevant Cabinet Members the urgent need to consider bringing these services in-house to ensure the security of hundreds of jobs and the long-term stability of the services that mean so much to the people of Sheffield?




(4)        Would the Council be eligible to secure a grant from the Government’s £1.5 billion rescue pack for arts and leisure services if the facilities currently outsourced to Sheffield City Trust were to be brought back in-house?




It was suggested that the questions be forwarded to Councillor Terry Fox (Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Governance), Dave Phillips (Head of Strategic Finance) and Ryan Keyworth (Director of Finance and Commercial Services), and arrangements be made for (a) a detailed response to be provided to the GMB and (b) the questions to be read out at the meeting of the Economic and Environmental Wellbeing and Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee on 8th September, 2020.