- Commissioner's bulletin 31 March 2017
- Commissioner's bulletin 18 November 2016
- Commissioner's bulletin 3 June 2016
- Commissioner's bulletin 31 March 2016
- Commissioner's bulletin 2 March 2016
- Commissioner's bulletin January 2016
- Commissioner's bulletin December 2015
- Commissioner's bulletin October 2015
- Commissioner's bulletin September 2015
- Commissioner's bulletin July 2015 (You are here)
- Commissioner's bulletin June 2015
- Commissioner's bulletin May 2015
Commissioner's bulletin July 2015
This is my latest monthly bulletin on the work that the Commissioners have been doing to assist Rotherham MBC to improve and to pave the way for the restoration of democratic leadership and accountability.
Developing a healthy system of political leadership and accountability
Later this month, Councillors will come together to debate and agree a new written understanding about what sort of behaviours will support a healthy system of democratic leadership and accountability. Commissioners have taken as part of their mission the encouragement of such an environment, which we think would be an important way of demonstrating that Rotherham has changed and that the restoration of responsibility to elected politicians can be envisaged.
The new written understanding will be supplementary to the National Code of Conduct which all Councillors are obliged to sign upon taking up office.
Commissioners Public Meeting
I mentioned in my previous note that Commissioners had committed to public meetings with councillors and we held our first on 24th June in the Council Chamber.
Commissioners reported progress on their work, we received a presentation on the budget forecast for the medium term, and took questions from Councillors and the public.
Meeting with DCLG’s Permanent Secretary
Last week, Commissioner Stella Manzie and I met with Melanie Dawes, who is the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Permanent Secretary, and Helen Edwards, Director General for Localism. It is important for Commissioners to regularly share progress with Government, so we can build a picture of how the Council is moving towards its recovery and restoration. Discussions were constructive and covered some of the opportunities, risks and issues to returning powers back to the Council, and lessons which can be shared elsewhere.
The Permanent Secretary indicated that the new Secretary of State, Greg Clarke, has a strong interest in the work we are doing and we will be formally submitting our first progress report to him late August.
Following Commissioner Mary Ney’s ‘minded to’ decision on 29th June 2015 on a new taxi licensing policy, there have been 11 representations as well as a further meeting with the taxi trade. Taking any additional comments into account, Commissioner Ney decided to proceed with the approval of the new policy on 6th July including some changes which clarify or correct a number of issues. However, the Implementation Plan on a number of matters is not yet finalised and is the subject of ongoing discussion with the Trade. Further information on the Commissioner’s decision can be found at the Council's website.
Latest Commissioners’ Team Meeting
On 6th July, Commissioners held their fourth team meeting. This is a forum for Commissioners to share progress on particular areas of work, and we discussed:
- The latest on the Council’s work supporting children and young people, including updates on Child Sexual Exploitation and its new Evolve team, and latest on arrests and prosecutions
- ‘Views from Rotherham’ roadshows, with attention turning to developing the vision for the borough
- Implementation of the Council’s corporate Improvement plan
- Preparations for the first six month’s review of Commissioners’ progress to DCLG
If you have anything you wish to raise with Commissioners, whether comment, suggestions or challenge, please contact our office.