Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 28th January, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Online Meeting - via Microsoft Teams


No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

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The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Apologies were noted as above.


Urgent Items/Announcements

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The Chair announced that Cllr Peter Ripon, who was a member of the Committee, sadly passed away on the 20 December 2020 after a short illness.


Peter served on Sheffield City Council for 17 years representing Shiregreen and Brightside ward and latterly the Richmond ward.  He was also the 118th Lord Mayor of Sheffield between 2014 and 2015.


He had been a member of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee since 2018 and served right up to his final illness.


The Chair had known Peter over many years and regarded him as a colleague and friend, even though they were in different political parties.  He was a truly respected gentleman right across the chamber in Sheffield and the other councils in South Yorkshire.


C Marriott gave an update on the South Yorkshire Scrutiny Officers Network.


It was explained that the network provided an open forum to share best practice and learning and development provision.  The group had Terms of Reference which included the sharing of annual work programmes for Overview and Scrutiny Committees across South Yorkshire.


The group meet quarterly with additional meetings as appropriate, the Network includes officers from Barnsley, Doncaster Rotherham councils along with South Yorkshire Joint Authorities Governance Unit to represent the Fire and Rescue Authority, the Police and Crime Panel and South Yorkshire Pensions Authority.


C Marriott had advised members of the Network of the referral process to the MCA Overview and Scrutiny Committee as set out in Article 6 of the Authority’s Order.  The Order stated that any member of an Overview and Scrutiny Committee could refer a matter, including any members of the Combined Authority and its constituent councils.


Network members had been signposted to the SCR website where further details could be found along with a referral form.


C Marriott had made a commitment to provide Scrutiny Officers with a briefing paper after each MCA meeting to keep officers across South Yorkshire up to speed.  Any suggestions on how communications could be improved would be welcomed.


The Chair thanked C Marriott for the update and commented that it was important that the work of the MCA complemented the work of the local authorities and that everyone was kept up to date with MCA decisions and vice versa.


The Chair noted that, at its meeting on 25 January 2021, the MCA had approved the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).  As the Plan was the core economic plan for the region which focused on growth, inclusion and sustainability he requested that the final version of the SEP be circulated to all members of the Committee to decide if there were any items to be brought to future Scrutiny meetings.


Action:  C Marriott to circulate the final version of the Strategic Economic Plan to all members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Also, at the recent MCA meeting it was noted that the Transport Levy had been agreed and remained at existing levels.


The Assurance Framework 2021/22 and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework2021/22 had also been discussed.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


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 29 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Presented By: Chair

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RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 October 2020 be agreed as a true record.


Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 503 KB

·       To receive Matters Arising and Update on Actions Paper

·       To formally receive Mayors response to recommendations made on 29 October 2020.


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The Committee received updates on actions from previous meetings.


  • S Edwards had met Cllr Baker on 18th November 2020.  Discussions were held on how SYPTE might improve communications with Councillors more generally.  Cllr Baker commented that it had been a very useful meeting. 


Action:  update action log as ‘Action Complete’.   


  • On the concerns regarding parking in bus lanes: Blocking of bus lanes was an issue in all four districts and the use of mobile enforcement vehicles and static enforcement cameras had seen improvements.


          Action:  Continue to monitor.  C Marriott to update Item to be on          Action Log for follow up in 6 months’ time. 


  • It was confirmed that a letter of thanks had been sent to Cllr Richardson to thank him for his contribution to the OSC. 


Action:  C Marriott to update action log as ‘Action Complete’


  • It was confirmed that there had not been a role for the Traffic Commissioner in the Bus Review to date.  Further details were included in the report.


          Action:  Cllr Jones stated he would continue to monitor the role of           the Traffic Commissioner throughout the implementation of the           Bus Review report recommendations.   


Action:  C Marriott update action log as ‘Action Complete’


  • P Zanzottera had circulated details of the Active Travel Project Tranche 2 bid to the Committee by email immediately after the last meeting. 


Action:  update action log as ‘Action Complete’


  • Baseline Data for monitoring active travel uptake:  P Zanzotterra has informed the Committee that a Baseline Data Report for Active Travel is expected during the course of February, which will be shared with the committee.


Action:  C Marriott update action log and ensure report is shared with OSC.


  • A letter from Mayor Jarvis had been received in response to the Committees’ formal recommendation that all future reports contained a Climate Change Impact Assessment.


          Action:  Continue to monitor.  C Marriott to update Item to be on          Action Log for follow up in 6 months’ time. 

  • A letter from Mayor Jarvis had been received concerning the importance of public engagement and consultation in addressing climate change issues.


          Action:  Continue to monitor.  C Marriott to update Item to be on          Action Log for follow up in 6 months’ time. 


  • Tier 3 Pandemic funding – a presentation from F Kumi-Ampofo was included on today’s agenda.


Action:  C Marriott update action log as ‘Action Complete’



  • Preparations for Brexit – a briefing paper on Brexit preparations was circulated to OSC members on 13th January 2021. 


Action:  C Marriott update action log as ‘Action Complete’



Review of latest Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 516 KB

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The Forward Plan of Key Decisions was provided for information and to give Members the opportunity to ask questions.


No questions were raised by Members.


Question and Answer Session with Mayor Jarvis

·       Latest position on Covid-19

o   Tier 3 funding – how is it being spent?

o   What help available for “elite” sporting clubs who cannot access training, ie, Ice Sheffield.

o   How is the MCA Economy Recovery Plan tied into the 4 Local Authority Recovery Plans?

o   What is available in terms of support packages for SMEs?  How are the MCA actively engaging with “hard to reach” SMEs?

·       Update on Flooding Prevention Schemes.

·       Update on implementation Bus Review Report recommendations.

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The Chair welcomed Mayor Jarvis to the meeting for a question and answer session.


Mayor Jarvis began by commenting on the sad passing of Cllr Peter Rippon who had been a much respected councillor and would be sadly missed.  The Mayor expressed condolences to Peter’s family.


The Mayor commented that the MCA was now in a better position to respond to the challenges that would lay ahead in 2021 because £¼bn had been secured for transport, active travel, infrastructure and housing; this was in addition to the money that had been unlocked by the Devolution deal.  In practical terms this meant that the MCA would have a budget of £344m for the financial year 2021/22.


Cllr Ross asked how the Tier 3 funding was being spent.  Mayor Jarvis replied that the MCA in conjunction with the four constituent local authorities was doing all they could to assist the region’s businesses and residents.


The Tier 3 funding, which had been made available in October 2020, was aimed at the hospitality, accommodation and entertainment sectors and the MCA, working with local authorities, had provided additional top-ups to affected businesses.  A target had been set of allocating the original £30m to businesses by the end of March 2021.  Data showed that, through working with the local authorities, this target was both sensible and achievable.


Additionally, on 22 January 2021 a further allocation from government of £12.5m had been received which reflected the impact of the latest restrictions.  This amount had to be spent by March 2022 and MCA officers were currently considering how to target and deploy the additional grant.


Cllr Ennis asked what help was available for “elite” sporting clubs who could not access training, eg, Ice Sheffield.  Ice skating rinks in the area were classified as entertainment venues and therefore remained closed. This meant that aspiring elite skaters could not currently train and were being disadvantaged from skaters in other regions.


Mayor Jarvis replied that all businesses forced to close were in receipt of support from the government.  Elite sport had been allowed to continue through Tier 3 and in the current national lockdown.  Sports clubs and clubhouses experiencing a significant loss of trade were eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant.


Cllr Ennis requested clarification as to whether the region’s elite skaters could now use the facility in Sheffield.


Action:  Mayor Jarvis would check the precise arrangements for the skaters and report back to Cllr Ennis.


Cllr Steele asked whether the grant from government had to be spent on certain things or was there any leeway on this.  Also, did the Mayor think that the current lockdown would be extended?


In response, the Mayor informed the Committee that there was very limited flexibility in terms of the funding received; he had been in correspondence with the Chancellor about more flexibility – devolution was all about greater local decision making.


In terms of the lockdown, there was still a great amount of uncertainty regarding the next few months.  The reality was that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.


Sheffield City Region Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic pdf icon PDF 275 KB

·       Schemes already launched

·       Schemes scheduled for launch

·       Who has received support

·       Government support available

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A report was submitted which gave an update in relation to the Sheffield City Region MCA response to the Covid-19 pandemic.


At the OSC Agenda setting meeting on 3 December 2020, the Committee asked for an update on the following areas:


  • Schemes already launched.
  • Schemes scheduled for launch.
  • Who had received support?
  • Government support available.


Appendix A to the report responded to the questions put forward by OSC members and reflected the position as at 20th January 2021.


Cllr Lofts asked how easy it was to access the grants.


F Kumi-Ampofo replied that that in most cases it was straightforward;  applicants either had to fill in one form, or in some Authorities, one of two forms and officers would then work out what the business was eligible for.  For Phase 4 schemes, this money was sent out automatically without the need to reapply.


Cllr Ennis queried what anti-fraud mechanisms were in place.


The Committee was informed that local authority colleagues were experienced and knew businesses in their area.  There had been a small number of fraud cases and mechanisms were in place to retrieve monies paid.  In other cases, for example loss of trade, evidence of this had to be produced and officers would check the information provided.


Cllr Baker queried whether grants to non-rate paying business were means tested.  F Kumi-Ampofo confirmed that they were not.


The Chair welcomed the fact that the scheme had picked up previously unsupported business such as home-based companies and taxi drivers.  It was confirmed that the grants were paid to individual taxi drivers and not to the taxi companies.


In answer to a question from Cllr Jones, it was confirmed that the grants had to be sent to government criteria.


RESOLVED – That the report be noted.


Scrutiny of MCA Thematic Boards pdf icon PDF 398 KB

·       Transparency and openness of meetings

·       Meeting cycle and membership

·       Arrangements for public questions

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A report was submitted to advise members of the updated governance arrangements for the MCA Thematic Boards that had been agreed at the September 2020 MCA Board.


Members noted that the MCA had agreed to reduce the number of Thematic Board from five to four to reflect the priorities on the Strategic Economic Plan.  These were:


i.         Business Recovery and Growth.

ii.        Educations, Skills and Employability.

iii.       Transport and the Environment.

iv.       Housing and Infrastructure.


The Terms of Reference of the Boards were at Appendices B-E to the report.


OSC members had asked for clarity on three specific areas in relation to the Thematic Boards:


  • Transparency and openness of Board meetings.
  • Arrangements for public questions.
  • The meeting cycle and membership.


Details of these were contained within the report along with the proposed scrutiny process.


The Chair reported that problems had been encountered whilst researching the process of submitting a public question.  The SCR website needed updating to enable the public to find out how to submit a question to a Thematic Board and needed improving so that the search facility functioned correctly.


It was noted that the full membership of the Thematic Boards could be found at Appendix F.


RESOLVED – That the Committee:


i)           Note the updated governance arrangements for the Thematic Boards and agree on the method of scrutiny as set out in section 2.6 of the report.


ii)        RECOMMEND that the information on the SCR website be improved to        enable the public to find out how to submit a question to the Thematic           Boards and that the website is improved so that the search facility     functions correctly.