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Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

To receive any questions or petitions from members of the public



The following questions were received from Ruth Hubbard:-




(a)           In the Labour Group amendment submitted to the extraordinary meeting of the Council held last week, Voluntary Action Sheffield are quoted as though to suggest they are in full support of the proposals.  However, it is my understanding that VAS had not seen the report nor proposals.  Can OSMC provide an explanation?




In response, the Chair stated that Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) was aware of the process, and that they would be invited to raise any concerns thereon.  To date, the Council had not received any complaint from them.




(b)           I would like to ask OSMC about the lack of consultation with anyone, and OSMC role in scrutinising Council plans, for so-called "empowering communities" (including the involvement of stakeholders in that). 




In response, Councillor Terry Fox (Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Governance) stated that the Council would be engaging with all stakeholders, as had been done as part of the Big City Conversation.  Councillor Fox disputed the assertion that the proposals had been rushed through the Council, and referred to the extensive public engagement work undertaken by this Committee, which comprised several meetings in 2019, to which various relevant groups and organisations had been invited to put forward their views.  He added that, aAs part of the Big City Conversation, residents had informed the Council that they wanted to be involved in its decision-making processes.  It was the aim of the Council to reach out to, and work in, local communities throughout the city, and the proposals would provide such an opportunity.  The Council would welcome any ideas or suggestions as to how the Local Area Committees should operate.




(c)           I’d also like to ask where the EIA is for the proposals and why, on such a key issue, this did not appear to have been done in advance.




In response, Laurie Brennan (Head of Policy and Partnerships) stated that the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) had been prepared as part of the Cabinet report, as was always the procedure, and had been published with the Cabinet papers, as well as being available on request.  In this specific case, the EIA was a live document, given the iterative and developing nature of the decision, and the manner in how the Council engaged with the public would be fundamental to the development of the EIA.  As part of the public engagement process, the Council would ensure it fully assessed the demographic characteristics of the areas, as well as looking at proposals regarding devolved funding to the Local Area Committees.