Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 30th January, 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: Sheffield City Region, 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield, S1 2BQ


No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

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The Monitoring Officer opened the meeting and informed Members that the meeting was not quorate. 


He explained that most Combined Authorities were having problems with the Overview & Scrutiny quoracy rules, he was in correspondence with other Monitoring Officers to see what could be done about the situation.


It was agreed to appoint a Chair for this meeting only and proceed with the agenda as there were no decisions to be taken.


Cllr Alan Jones was nominated by Cllr Rippon and seconded by Cllr Ennis.


Cllr Jones took the Chair and welcomed Mayor Jarvis to the meeting.


Apologies were noted as above.


Appointment of Chair

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Deferred to the next meeting.


Appointment of Vice Chair

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Deferred to the next meeting.


Voting Rights for Non-Constituent Members

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It was agreed that there were no agenda items for which the non-Constituent Members should not have full voting rights.


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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Questions from Members of the Public

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Minutes of the Previous Meeting Held on 17 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Presented By: Chair

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RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 17th October 2019 be agreed as an accurate record.


Matters Arising

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Mayoral Scrutiny

Verbal update from Mayor Jarvis

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The Mayor gave an update on events across Sheffield City Region.


Following the outcome of the general election and the resulting exit from the EU, the Mayor stated that it was very important that the Government understood the needs of South Yorkshire to ensure that the region was not left behind.


Therefore, it was pleasing that progress on devolution had been made at a recent meeting of the Mayoral Combined Authority.  The Deal would bring £30m a year in funding as well as increased powers in areas including transport and skills.


The next step was a public consultation, which was a legal requirement of the devolution process and this would be launched on 3rd February.


The Mayor had recently met with Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and reminded him how important it was that the region received the full allocation of the Transforming Cities Fund to enable improvement of the Active Travel infrastructure and public transport system.


The Committee were informed that work had started on a Housing Review which would focus on several areas including whether the regions’ housing supported the Strategic Economic Plan and how to provide more affordable, high quality homes.


With regard to the floods in November, the Mayor had called on the Government to provide significant financial support for those communities affected in the region.


With regard to the Bus Review, led by Clive Betts MP, the consultation had received over 6,600 responses; the findings would be published in the coming months.


Cllr Jones requested that Cllr Ennis, as an Overview and Scrutiny representative, be invited to attend any meetings to discuss the findings of the Bus Review.


The Committee took the opportunity to discuss with the Mayor issues regarding:


·         The Bus Review – noting that this would be discussed in more details at item 13 Members noted that an improved service would have to be paid for and funding sources were being investigated.  How the Bus Review tied into climate change, if the bus service was unreliable people would use their cars. 

·         The possibility of franchising.The disparity in funding between the north and the south of the country and whether the Northern Powerhouse would have an enhanced role.  The Mayor would ensure that South Yorkshire was well prepared to make the best use of any money the Government chose to invest in the region.

·         Climate change and sustainability for the future.

·         Developing the Active Travel agenda.

·         The financial benefits of devolution and the formula used for allocating projects.

·         The creation of jobs and a vision for South Yorkshire.

·         The governance structure of the MCA and the visibility of the thematic boards.

·         The availability of affordable housing.


The Chair thanked Mayor Jarvis for his attendance at the meeting.


Bus Review pdf icon PDF 177 KB

·         Feedback from Councillors Ennis and Dale following meeting with Clive Betts MP

·         Paper presentation from Mark Lynam

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The Committee considered a report which gave an update on the progress of the Mayoral Bus Review and which had been presented to the Transport Board on 10th January 2020.


The report highlighted four key challenges for the bus system that had emerged from the evidence gathered:


·         The network faced significant bus reliability and frequency challenges.

·         There was inadequate connectivity between bus routes and with other modes of transport.

·         The system was overly complicated and difficult to navigate.

·         There was an inconsistent quality of network.


The report also detailed the next steps concluding with the report being submitted to the Mayor and shared with the Combined Authority in March 2020.


M Lynam informed the Committee that officers were starting to think about a number of areas of work to take forward including what a good bus network would look like, how to meet the needs of customers now and in the future and also what design principles should the network adhere to.


There then followed a discussion on the problems with bus services, the effects of these problems on communities and suggestions for solutions.


Members made the following points with regard to bus services in the region:


·         Complexity of ticketing was a big issue.

·         Progress needed to be made on an ‘Oyster style’ card.

·         Prioritise first steps to arrest the decline in patronage.

·         A modern, efficient bus service in the region would help to meet climate change targets.

·         Siting of bus stops important to ensure services are accessible to all.

·         Express buses at peak times.

·         More promotion of services available.

·         Poor quality road network a problem.

·         Reliability and punctuality essential.


Cllr Steele suggested a meeting of the Committee should be held after the Bus Review Report and been submitted to the Mayor, but before the findings were made public.


S Batey suggested that Clive Betts MP and officers should be invited to discuss the substance of the report and the Committee could scrutinise the process of how the report would be responded to.




      i.        That the report be noted.


    ii.        That the minutes of this meeting be forwarded to Clive Betts Bus Review.


   iii.        That a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee be arranged after the Bus Review Report had been submitted to the Mayor and before the findings were made public.


SCR Budget pdf icon PDF 243 KB

·         Review of draft budget

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A report was considered which briefed Members on the MCA/LEP revenue budget setting process and how decisions were made regarding the allocation of each budget.


The report detailed the budget briefings that had taken place from June 2019 to January 2020.  The briefings had involved the Leaders, the LEP Board, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the MCA and the Directors of Finance.


Members were informed that the plan would deliver a balanced budget over the next three years.  In 2020/21 this would require a contribution of £0.3m from reserves with a further £0.24 contribution in 2021/22.


The report also detailed the 5-year strategy that had been approved by the MCA in November 2019.


In terms of next steps, M Thomas informed the Committee that the proposed budget would be taken to the LEP Board on 5th March 2020 before seeking approval from the MCA on 23rd March 2020.


Cllr Steele queried where the £30m Gainshare money sat within the accounts.


M Thomas replied that this could not be included until it was certain the money would be received, however when the deal was formally ratified the budget would be recast and put to the MCA for approval.


In response to a question from Cllr Auckland, R Adams confirmed that the PTE was a separate organisation and the staffing budget included in the report referred to the MCA and the LEP, although the budget did take account of where there was integration e.g. in IT.


T Taylor informed the Committee that the MCA had approved the PTE budget earlier in the week.


RESOLVED:  That the Committee noted the process by which the 2020/21 MCA/LEP revenue budget would be set.


Development of the Strategic Economic Plan pdf icon PDF 175 KB

·         Process

·         Objectives

·         Funding Opportunities

·         Lessons learned so far

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A report was submitted which gave an update on the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).


The report informed the Committee on the development of the SEP, how inclusive this had been and how it would impact on the environment.


Appended to the report was a more detailed report which had been provided to the LEP; this was additional information for the Committee.


Members were informed that the process of engagement had included the four local authorities, universities and the private sector through business organisations such as Chambers of Commerce.


The SEP was an overarching document with three objectives – growth inclusion and sustainability and how they worked together, there was also a suite of documents that were being developed e.g. the Transport Strategy.


The environment was another prominent issue and there was an aspiration within the SEP that the SCR would be carbon neutral by 2040.


With regard to inclusion there were plans in the SEP to develop an Employment Charter.


The draft SEP was currently out to LEP Board members for comment and after the next LEP Board meeting in March would be put out for public consultation.  There would be a role for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to contribute to that process.


RESOLVED – That the report be noted.


SYPTE Petition Process - responding to customers pdf icon PDF 163 KB

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A report was considered which provided a summary of the current processes to manage the receipt and response to public petitions to the Mayoral Combined Authority.


The report provided statistics on the volumes of petitions received and the time taken to present at an MCA meeting and the time to provide a final response.


T Taylor informed the Committee that there had been 11 petitions received during 2019.


Prior to the creation of the MCA, the petitions had been received by the Transport Committee they were now submitted to MCA meetings.


On receipt of a petition, SYPTE would, (after consulting with bus operators where necessary), prepare a draft response on behalf of the Mayor and share with the SCR Director of the Mayor’s Office for approval.


The final approved response was issued to the petitioner as a letter and signed on behalf of the Mayor by the executive Director of SYPTE.


Cllr Ross suggested that the Committee received a six-monthly update on the petitions received to keep appraised of any trends emerging.  This would be purely for information only.




(i)         That the report be noted.


(ii)        That the Committee receive six-monthly updates of the petitions received.