Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 29th July, 2021 2.00 pm

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


No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

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S Davenport informed members that the meeting was not quorate.


Apologies were noted as above.


Appointment of Chair and Vice Chair

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As the meeting was not quorate this item was deferred to the next meeting of the Committee.


S Davenport asked for nominations for a Member to Chair the meeting.


Cllr Ross was nominated and seconded and took the Chair.


Urgent Items/Announcements

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Cllr Ross welcomed Cllr Hurst to her first meeting.  Cllr Ross asked that a letter of thanks for their contribution to the Committee be sent to outgoing Members Cllrs Steele, Baker, Elliott and Lofts.


Action:  Letter of thanks to be sent to Cllrs Steele, Baker and Lofts.


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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Question and Answer Session with Mayor Jarvis

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Mayor Jarvis gave an update on MCA issues.


  • Covid infections had been rising steeply across the region but the vaccine had made a huge difference in weakening the link between infections and hospitalisations.  South Yorkshire still had 230,000 unvaccinated adults which was approximately 20% of the region’s adult population.
  • There is a real issue was staff absence across all sectors due to people needing to self-isolate.
  • The latest numbers showed that £45.6m of Additional Restrictions Grant funding had been moved into the South Yorkshire economy in just 231 days.  This was expected to reach almost £50m before the scheme ended.
  • The Government had announced unwelcome changes to healthcare boundaries with Bassetlaw being removed.
  • Work was ongoing to translate the broad principles of the Bus Review into a practical roadmap.
  • Public transport patronage was still way below what it was pre-pandemic.
  • The MCA had recently agreed to discount all Travelmaster bus and tram fares by 25% in an attempt to boost patronage.  This was in addition to discounted fares for 18-21 year-olds.
  • Mask wearing requirements are still in place in bus interchanges; this is  the only part of the network under the MCA’s control.
  • There was still great uncertainty over the eastern leg of HS2, of Northern Powerhouse Rail and the direct connection to Manchester Airport.
  • Longer term work on the Bus Service Improvement Plan remained a priority and was on track to deliver the Plan by the end of October.
  • On that basis, a decision about operating structures and whether or not to proceed to franchising would be made no later than early 2022.
  • Negotiations were proceeding for the Enhanced Partnerships.
  • Decarbonisation was a key issue.  The MCA had moved to the second round of the competition for ZEBRA funding to buy new zero carbon buses.
  • The Government had confirmed revenue funding until April 2022 to keep Supertram going.
  • The MCA had submitted a full £50m bid to the Levelling Up Fund and were preparing another large bid for the City Region Sustainable Transport Fund.


The Chair thanked Mayor Jarvis for the update.


Cllr Jones commented on the Government’s recent decision to nationalise Forgemasters and questioned whether the same could be done to buses.


Mayor Jarvis welcomed the Government’s decision on Forgemasters which would secure the future of the business.


Currently the MCA were working through the process that would deliver the Bus Service Improvement Plan in October for which real resource would be required; it was not yet known what the National Bus Strategy would unlock.  In the end, whatever the MCA decided to do, a way had to be found to pay for it.


The process that had led to Manchester’s decision to move to franchising had taken a number of years and used a significant amount of public resource.  He assured members that everyone was working tirelessly to produce the best possible plan for the region’s buses.


Cllr Wyatt queried whether there were any proposals for the expansion of tram/train.


Mayor Jarvis replied that the MCA believed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 92.


South Yorkshire Renewal Fund pdf icon PDF 117 KB

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F Kumi-Ampofo gave a presentation  on the South Yorkshire Renewal Fund which covered:


  • What was the South Yorkshire Renewal Fund (SYRF) and why it was needed.
  • A new way of working – principles and what would be different.
  • The prize on offer and the current position.
  • The key political drivers guiding the approach and what was already in place.
  • The timeline – what was needed to be achieved by April 2022 and the process to get there, plus next steps.


The Chair thanked F Kumi-Ampofo for the presentation and asked for questions from Members.


Cllr Jones expressed concern that he could see the income to support investment but could not see what the expenditure would be to secure the investments, in other words how much would borrowing to support investment cost.


The Chair questioned what safeguards were in place to prevent the build-up of large amounts of debt.


F Kumi-Ampofo explained that a lot more detail around MCA responsibilities, safeguards and governance arrangements would be provided in due course.  It was the beginning of the process to agreeing a Borrowing Cap with Treasury and then the agreement would need Parliamentary approval.


The Chair commented that this would have to be returned to over time when more information was available to receive further assurance.


D Smith commented that as negotiations moved forward with HM Treasury more details and the terms of any borrowing would be provided to the Committee.


Cllr Ennis commented that of the four political drivers that had been identified it appeared that ‘equity’ would be the most difficult to achieve and questioned how this could be achieved across the four local authorities who each had their own differing agendas.


F Kumi-Ampofo agreed that this would be challenging and work would be needed to move mind-sets from calculating what would be a ‘fair share’ to focus on priorities and outcomes for each area whilst ensuring the MCA was investing in projects that were aligned to the MCA’s objectives and outcomes.


Cllr Hurst questioned the investment principles in particular sustained investment and how social impact could be measured.


It was agreed there was no easy answer to this.  The Finance Director was working on a paper to look at the position the MCA should consider taking on a case to case basis when investment opportunities arose.  For example in some cases the MCA could act as the funder and in others the financier.


Details were still being worked through and would be provided in due course – this would include a ‘toolbox’ of financial options.


The Chair questioned how the effectiveness of investments would be measured.


F Kumi-Ampofo explained that the MCA had approved a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.  Gainshare came with conditions including evaluation and review points where the MCA had to work with Government to evaluate impacts.


Work was ongoing to develop a ‘Data and Intelligence Hub’ which would be a real life platform which would use a series of measures and indicators to assess performance an effectiveness.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93.


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 25 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 356 KB

Presented By: Chair

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RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 25 March 2021 be agreed as a true record.


Matters Arising

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OSC Action Register Update pdf icon PDF 113 KB

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The Committee received updates on actions from previous meetings.


Action 2 – Workshop on the Assurance Framework.


Update:    Virtual workshop arranged for 10th August 2021.


Action:  C Marriott to update the Action Log as “Action Complete”.


Action 4 – Evaluating Outcomes and Value for Money from Active Travel Projects.


Update:  Report not yet available.


Action:  C Marriott to chase.


Action 5 – Recommendation by OSC to include a Climate Change Impact Assessment on MCA reports.


Update:  Amended template was implemented in June 2021.


Action - C Marriott to update the Action Log as “Action Complete”.


Action 6 – Monitor public engagement and consultation in addressing climate change challenges.


Update:  OSC to discuss further at Work Programme meeting on 02.09.21.


Action 7 – OSC to receive quarterly performance reports from Mayor Jarvis regarding evaluation/priorities for 2021.


Update:  To discuss further at Work programme meeting on 2 September 2021.


Action 3 – Request information regarding the petition received at the January 2021 MCA meeting regarding customer service attitudes/


Update:  Report was currently in draft form and would be shared with the Chair when complete.


Action 3 – Integration of MCA and SYPTE – to determine cost of the Strategic Partner.


Update:  R Adams had supplied the information to Members via email.


Action - C Marriott to update the Action Log as “Action Complete”.


Review of latest Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 119 KB

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The Forward Plan of Key Decisions was considered.


No questions were raised by Members.


C Marriott informed the Committee that a further Forward Plan of Key Decisions would be published on Tuesday of the following week.


This would be discussed further at the next agenda setting meeting.


Work Programme Meeting

Work programme meeting is scheduled for 02/09/21 at 10am.  All members are invited.

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It was noted that the next Work Programme meeting would be a virtual meeting on 2 September 2021.


The Chair commented that it was unfortunate that the meeting had not been quorate.  He had noticed that there were some vacant substitute positions and requested Members to try ensure that these positions were filled.