Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 26th October, 2021 2.00 pm

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


No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

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As the last meeting of the Committee had not been quorate it had not been possible to elect a Chair.  S Davenport asked for nominations for the position.


Cllr Colin Ross was nominated and seconded and took the Chair.


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Apologies were noted as above.


Urgent Items/Announcements

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The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, conveyed congratulations to Dame Sarah Storey, SYMCA’s Active Travel Ambassador, for her recent record breaking success at the Tokyo Paralympics.


The Committee had a new member from RMBC, Cllr Singleton who had replaced Cllr Emma Barley and new substitute appointments of Cllrs Osbourne and Green.


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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The Chair reported that there was a question which had been submitted by a member of the public.


As this related to the climate emergency it was proposed to take the question at item 10.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting Held on 29 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 351 KB

Presented By: Chair

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RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 July 2021 be agreed as a true record.


Matters Arising/Action Register pdf icon PDF 40 KB

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The Committee considered the Action Register.


MCA Bus Review – there was an update at item 11 on the agenda, with a further update scheduled for January 2022.


Evaluating outcomes and VfM from Active Travel projects – a report had been circulated via email.


Climate emergency – elsewhere on today’s agenda.


South Yorkshire Renewal Fund – this had been discussed at the agenda setting meeting and it was placed on the Work Programme for the forthcoming year.


RESOLVED – That the Action Register be noted.


Review of latest Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 80 KB

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The Forward Plan of Key Decisions was considered.


The Chair informed members that the Forward Plan had been put together so that decisions from all the numerous Committees and Board could be seen in one place and so that the Committee could easily identify areas of interest to them.


After discussion, it was decided that for clarity, the word ‘open’ in the ‘Prohibitions, Restrictions, Exemptions’ column should be replaced with the words ‘not exempt’.


It was confirmed that any decision could be called in for scrutiny either before or after the decision had been made.


Action:  Items previously designated as ‘open’ to be marked as ‘not exempt’. 


RESOLVED – That the report be noted.


Climate Emergency – Monitoring Public Engagement/Consultation pdf icon PDF 139 KB

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The Chair informed the Committee that a question from a member of the public had been received and although it had arrived late he had accepted it as it related to this agenda item.  The member of the public had been unable to attend but would be viewing via the webcast.


C Marriott read out the question:


How can this Scrutiny Board be satisfied with the paper at item 10 on your agenda?  There is no reference to any actions being taken in response to your engagement.


To take an example, the Climate Alliance argued strongly for urgent investment in retrofitting skills training – very poignant as the Government unveiled its Heat and Buildings strategy this week – but no such investment is being made.


We consider that the Net Zero engagement process is both genuine and actually of exceptional high quality but these engagement efforts will lack credibility if they solely relate to process but do not result in action being taken.”


R Sulley informed members that he would respond to the question as he went through the report.


The Chair commented that members would ensure the question was answered during the presentation or by their follow-up questions.


Members were reminded that the paper was in response to questions around public engagement and consultation following the climate change emergency declaration from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


As background, R Sulley reminded members that in January 2020 the MCA Board approved the Climate Response Framework which split the challenge into five areas which were detailed in the report.


The MCA then commissioned a report from Urban Foresight which identified 18 strategic activities which should be delivered over the next two years as part of a net zero programme.  The report highlighted that a communications strategy would be vital to the long-term success of delivering against the targets set.


To do this the MCA would need to collaborate with different organisations in designing the communications messaging including pressure groups such as the South Yorkshire Climate Alliance, business membership groups and other community stakeholders.  This would ensure that the messages were clear and consistent and in line with the targets.


Members noted the following activities:


  • SYMCA had appointed a Net Zero Project Director (NZPD) with the aim of operationalising the Net Zero Project.
  • The Mayor had taken up the role of Vice-Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission.
  • MCA officers were involved in formulating the action plan of the commission and incorporating the commission’s findings and public input into further programme development.
  • The NZPD had developed networks with interest groups to understand their concerns and regular meetings had been held with the South Yorkshire Climate Alliance.
  • The business and industrial communities had been approached through specific meetings with trade association representatives and individual companies.


Where necessary or appropriate , public consultations were undertaken.  It was noted that, at this point, no overarching consultation on the MCAs climate emergency response had been undertaken or was planned.


With regard to the point  ...  view the full minutes text for item 110.


Bus Service Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 145 KB

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A report was considered which gave an update on the Bus Service Improvement Plan.


P Beijer and C Shepherd gave a presentation on the progress made to date on the Bus Service Improvement Plan which included:


  • A reminder of the original findings of the Bus Review.
  • A logic map indicating the context, inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts.
  • The scale of the challenge.
  • The vision for the South Yorkshire bus network.
  • Key findings from evidence and engagement.
  • Next steps.


Cllr Wyatt questioned whether any data was being captured from the Operators on the levels of cancelled services as this seemed to be a problem at the moment, particularly in the evening.


C Shepherd replied that the data was collected by SYPTE.  In terms of the BSIP the importance of reliability was recognised and also the need to extend the frequency of services in the core network especially in the evening.


Cllr Wyatt requested follow up on the data if available.  He also asked about the criteria for bus passes, there seemed to have been a tightening up of bus passes for those with learning disabilities and he had representations from people who were having difficulty renewing their passes.  At a time when patronage needed to be encouraged this was disappointing.


P Beijer commented that she would take the question away and respond to the Committee separately on the matter.


Cllr Smith commented that the report only provided one option and he was aware that the Transport Board had been given two options and had rejected setting long-term growth targets for bus patronage.


C Shepherd would compare the two reports and report back later in the meeting.


Cllr Ennis questioned whether any opposition had been encountered from the local bus operators in playing their part in the Enhanced Bus Partnerships.


C Shepherd replied that, so far, there had been no objections from the Operators to working in an Enhanced Partnership.  It had been a collaborative process and officers met fortnightly with the operators.  The plan had been developed in partnership with the operators.  As part of the process, there was a requirement from DfT that the Operators and MCA produced separate wish lists of activities.  When the wish lists were compared, although there were some differences, there was a lot of commonalities between the two which had helped in pulling together the plan.


Cllr Singleton queried how demand responsive transport (DRT) would work, especially in rural areas.


C Shepherd explained that there was no single model for DRT but it would be designed around the needs of the location.  In general terms DRT was a flexible service that would operate within a cordoned or defined area, would be booked through a platform, for example a mobile phone app, and would react to passenger demand.


Cllr Jones questioned where the role of Traffic Commissioners sat within the BSIP.


P Beijer replied that the Traffic Commissioners would continue to play a part in the ongoing operations of the bus service network.  They played a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 111.


Mayoral Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 143 KB

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A report was submitted which provided the Committee with an update on the key priorities that the Mayor had set with the Executive Team for the remainder of the financial year and on which the programmes of activity were underway.


The report included updates on:


  • Public Transport
  • Active Travel
  • Environment and Net Zero
  • Skills and Education
  • Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Levelling Up and securing further resources to deliver
  • South Yorkshire Renewal Fund
  • Organisation


Cllr Wyatt conveyed congratulations to the Mayor for his role, as an MP, in securing the debate in Parliament on levelling up.  The Committee needed to keep track of progress of the concept and how it was working in practice across South Yorkshire.


RESOLVED – That the report be noted.


The Chair thanked members and officers for their contributions to the meeting and noted that it was the first time the Committee had achieved 100% attendance.