Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 18th July, 2019 1.00 pm

Venue: Ground Floor, 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield, S1 2BQ


No. Item


Opening Remarks

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The meeting was opened by Steve Davenport, Principal Solicitor to the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and SCR Monitoring Officer designate.


It was confirmed the meeting was not quorate. However, in recognition that no substantive decisions were due to taken, it was agreed to proceed with transacting the intended business.



Appointment of Chair and Vice Chair

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Nominations were sought for the positions of Chair of the Committee.


Cllr Furness was nominated and seconded by Cllrs Ennis and Steele and accepted the nomination.


It was agreed to defer the appointment of the Vice Chair to the next meeting.


RESOLVED, that the Committee:


1.    Appoint Cllr Chris Furness as Chair for the meeting today.


2.    Defer appointment of Chair for the 2019/20 municipal year until the next quorate meeting.


3.    Defer the decision to appoint a Vice Chair to the next meeting.



Welcome and Apologies

Welcome to the new members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

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The Chair welcomed Members and attendees to the meeting.


Members’ apologies were noted as above.


It was agreed to address agenda item 11 ahead of agenda items 3 to 10.


The Chair thanks the outgoing Monitoring Officer, Andrew Frosdick, for his past support and service to the Committee.



Voting Rights for Non-Constituent Members

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It was confirmed voting right conferral was not required as there were no formal decisions to be taken on today’s agenda.



Urgent Items/Announcements

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Items to be Considered in the Absence of Public and Press

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Declarations of Interest by any Members

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Reports from and Questions by Members

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The Chair noted the last meeting of the SCR Audit and Standards Committee were informed of SCR’s Annual Performance Review which had received a rating of ‘good’ by government. Noting that performance falls under the remit of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee it was requested that a copy of the report be provided to the OSC Members for information.


Action: Dr Dave Smith to arrange for the circulation of the SCR’s Annual Performance Review to the OSC Members.



Questions from Members of the Public

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Minutes of the Previous Meeting Held on

Presented By: Chair

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RESOLVED, that the minutes of the meeting of the SCR Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 11th April are agreed to be an accurate record of the meeting.



Matters Arising

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The Chair welcomed the SY Leaders and Cllr Iqbal on behalf of Cllr Dore to the meeting to provide an update on their respective districts position with the signing of the SCR Devolution Deal.


Cllr Houghton informed the meeting that his i.e. Barnsley’s position is to see the creation of a One Yorkshire deal and he is happy to support an interim SCR deal if there is agreement this is a step towards the Yorkshire deal.


Mayor Jones noted this was also Doncaster’s position, as supported by 85% of the town’s residents in the recent referendum on the matter.


Cllr Read suggested his immediate priority was to conclude the signing of the current SCR deal ahead of considering the potential for future, wider deals


Cllr Iqbal commented on recent correspondence with Ministers and suggested matters may be moving in the right direction.


Cllr Ennis commented on his time serving as the Deputy Regional Minister for the Yorkshire and Humber during the time of the Regional Development Agencies and suggested that if the region “is going to punch above its weight and benefit from potential economies of scale, it needs to do so as part of a greater Yorkshire area”.


Cllr Ross observed that the SCR deal ‘is on the table’ whilst the One Yorkshire deal isn’t and questioned whether, by not working together, the Leaders are letting the public down in not accessing the £30m per year which is currently not being claimed. Cllr Houghton challenged this point and cited examples where the districts’ Leaders do continue to work together outside of the devolution agenda.


Cllr Ross questioned whether the referendums in Barnsley and Doncaster appropriately informed people that a One Yorkshire deal is not recognised by government, and again suggested people were being let down by not benefiting from access to a guaranteed £30m a year. Cllr Houghton asserted the referendum question was checked and the position with respect to the options was made clear to voters. Cllr Houghton further questioned the merits of tying ourselves in to a 30-year SCR deal when the evidence suggests Barnsley would be better served by a One Yorkshire deal.


Cllr Read acknowledged the districts had taken different positions on the matter of the SCR deal but asserted all districts want to move collectively towards a resolution on this matter as soon as possible.


Cllr Ennis asked whether the referendum evidence would be given further weight should the exercise be repeated in Rotherham and Sheffield.


Mayor Jones suggested she saw the SCR deal as an interim stepping stone towards a One Yorkshire deal, and had been mandated by the people of Doncaster to deliver that outcome


Cllr Iqbal also asserted his district works well with the Leaders of the other Authorities and suggested that like Rotherham, Sheffield recognises the merit in taking the deal that is currently available ahead of further consideration of a One Yorkshire deal.


All Leaders commented on the relative significance of £30m a year of the SCR deal, against  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Tackling discrimination and prejudice: MCA adoption of definitions of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia pdf icon PDF 145 KB

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Members were informed that a report was received by the Mayoral Combined Authority on 3 June 2019 proposing the adoption of an agreed definition of antisemitism and committing to a definition of Islamophobia once such a definition has attracted widespread support. It was reported the adoption of these definitions was to provide clarity about what antisemitism and Islamophobia is, as part of the MCA and LEP’s general equal opportunities policy.


Cllr Ross asked whether any caveats had been incorporated into the definition of antisemitism noting other organisations had taken such an approach but with subsequent consequences. It was confirmed the SCR MCA was adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) version of the definition of antisemitism in full.


Members were asked to note the submission of this paper to the MCA and consider the further endorsement of the definitions considered.


RESOLVED, that the Committee


1.    Endorses the SCR MCA’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism


2.    Endorses the SCR MCA’s adoption of a working definition of Islamophobia when there is greater clarity and a shared understanding of the term



Scrutiny of SCR Thematic Boards pdf icon PDF 203 KB

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A report was received to inform the OSC Members of the role, responsibilities and membership of the SCR Thematic Boards and invite consideration of the proposals for how it is proposed that these Boards will be scrutinised.


It was reported the five thematic boards (Transport, Housing, Infrastructure, Skills and Employability and Business Growth) are based around the strategic priorities of the Strategic Economic Plan and support decision-making and delivery of the MCA and LEP priorities. The Boards were created after a 2018 review of SCR’s governance structure and have delegated authority to make financial decisions on behalf of the MCA. The revised governance structure was agreed by the MCA and LEP in December 2018 and January 2019 respectively.


It was noted the five Boards have delegated authority which requires consensus from board members for decisions to be made on schemes under £2m and it will fall within the remit of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to ensure that the decisions taken will be of benefit to the residents and businesses of the Sheffield City Region.


It was reported that MHCLG statutory guidance on overview and scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities states that effective overview and scrutiny should be led by independent people who take responsibility for their role and therefore proposed that the following process provide evidence that this is the case for the SCR:

·         That OSC Members are already routinely made aware of the revision of the Forward Plan via automated notifications sent from SCR’s system

·         That OSC Members are asked to continue to receive and review the Forward Plan of Key Decisions (as is currently done for key decisions made at Mayoral Combined Authority Board meetings

·         That OSC Members are encouraged to seek further information from the Lead Officer named on the Forward Plan or the Scrutiny Officer.

·         That the SCR’s call-in of decisions process be evoked by OSC Members are required.


RESOLVED: that the Committee:


1.    Agrees to the proposed model for the scrutiny of SCR Thematic Boards.


2.    Requests that the Terms of Reference for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee are updated to reflect the need to scrutinise decisions made at thematic board meetings.



MHCLG Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Combined and Local Authorities pdf icon PDF 195 KB

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A report was received to help ensure OSC Members are aware of the MHCLG Statutory Guidance on scrutiny, and the potential changes required to ensure compliance with requirements


Members were asked to consider the Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities, reflect on the approach to scrutiny at the Sheffield City Region and recommend changes to ensure the OSC operates in accordance with the published guidance.


It was noted the Scrutiny Officer and Monitoring Officer would be commencing a range of discussions aimed at considering the Committee’s compliance with the guidance, culminating with a workshop for Members planned for September 2019. This approach was supported by Members.


Cllr Richardson noted the meeting’s lack of quoracy and asked whether a two-thirds threshold was realistic. It was noted this is prescribed in guidance but confirmed a number of districts are currently challenging this matter


RESOLVED, that the Committee:


1.    Notes the contents of the report


2.    Formally writes to MCHLG to challenge the two-thirds quoracy threshold.



Overview and Scrutiny Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 104 KB

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The Committee received the draft OSC Annual report for 2018/19 for comment and approval and was provided with a guide to its contents.


It was confirmed a minor textual error would be addressed ahead of publication.


RESOLVED that the Committee agrees the content of the 2018 /19 Annual Report and approves the report publication on the SCR website



Scrutiny Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 144 KB

·         Referrals since last formal meeting

·         Reviews – updates and proposals

·         Forward Plan of Key Decisions

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A report was received to present Members with the draft OSC Work Programme for 2019/20 for comment and approval.


Cllr Ennis asked Members to consider a referral made by Barnsley Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee in respect of bus and train services, noting the district Committee’s suggestion this be best addressed at the ‘SCR scrutiny level’ and accorded with the mayoral review being led by Clive Betts MP.


The July 2019 Forward Plan of Key Decisions was also received for comment


RESOLVED, that the Committee:


1.    Agrees to the content of the OSC Work Programme for 2019/20.


2.    Agree to the request from Barnsley Council to include South Yorkshire bus services in the Work Programme (to be combined with the existing bus review  agenda item scheduled for the October 2019 meeting).


3.    Notes the items on the July Forward Plan of Key Decisions 2019 and agrees the items to be placed on the SCR OSC Work Programme 2019/20.



Active Travel Project pdf icon PDF 186 KB

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A report was received to provide an update on the work of the Active Travel Programme, being led by Dame Sarah Storey.


Mayor Jarvis joined the meeting via telephone to provide Members with further information regarding the SCR’s active travel activities and ambitions, noting how these are built on his mayoral manifesto promises and exemplified within the SCR Transport Strategy.


Mayor Jarvis commented on the importance of ‘integrated transport’ noting how active travel supports many other agendas.


Members were provided with an update on the delivery of the Mayor’s manifesto commitments to support active travel in the City Region and informed how the Transport Strategy’s ambition to grow the overall transport modal share for cycling and walking will be delivered by the Active Travel Implementation Plan.


Examples of the types of actions that will be contained within the Active Travel Programme were provided.


Members were provided with an explanation of the rationale and intended work of the proposed Active Travel Advisory Board.


The Mayor commented on the importance of the support and close co-operation of the Local Authorities in realising the ambition for active travel.


In discussion, Members sought the Mayor’s comments on a number of matters related to active travel including issues with pavement parking, the general public’s ability to readily inform activities, the importance of challenging targets and aspirations, best practise from elsewhere and the need for encouraging the building of facilities that are conducive to cycling such as showers and storage facilities in workplaces. It was suggested these would be good matters for consideration by the new SCR Transport Board.


It was acknowledged that much of the active travel commission’s work is South Yorkshire based but recognised cycling doesn’t stop at artificial district boundaries. It was therefore agreed it would be important to maintain discussions with neighbouring districts to support cross boundary initiatives and ideas.


Cllr Ennis commented on the important links between active travel and road safety, citing issues causes by inconsiderate road usage. Mayor Jarvis suggested this matter warranted further consideration and offered to respond to Cllr Ennis direct.



Cllr Richardson commented on similar issues potentially born of a lack of good road usage education. The Mayor agreed that education is important in terms of promoting both good cycling and good road usage by other transport mode users. It was noted this is a matter that has been picked up by Dame Sarah Storey.


The Chair sought an assurance that the Committee would be appropriately involved with the development of the Bus Review and Local Industrial Strategy. This assurance was provided by the Mayor and it was confirmed these matters would be regularly brought before the OSC.


It was noted arrangements would be put in place to provide OSC members with an enhanced role in support of the Bus Review.  Councillors Dale, Ennis and Furness registered their interest in being involved with this enhanced role. 


RESOLVED, that the Committee


1.    Notes the progress made in developing the active travel programme, and the appointed of a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.