Council - Wednesday, 29th March, 2023 10.00 am
Venue: The Council Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension
Contact: Andrew Woods
The Lord Mayor's Announcements and Special Business
To allow members an opportunity to declare any personal, prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interest they might have in any items which appear on this agenda; and record any items from which they are precluded from voting as a result of Council Tax or Council rent arrears. Members with a personal interest should declare that at the start of the item under consideration. If members also have a prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interest they must withdraw from the meeting during the consideration of the item
To submit for approval the minutes of the meeting held on 3 March 2023.
Notice of Motion - Skills for Manchester
Manchester is a place where businesses large and small want to operate and provide jobs for our workforce. Our growth as a city has helped attract a younger, more diverse and higher-skilled population. However, businesses are still struggling to find the right skills that they need and for the jobs of the future.
As a city we must tackle the challenges that this skills gap presents to us otherwise we will cease to grow and build the inclusive economy that our residents deserve.
According to the Institute for Public Policy Research - State of the North Report 2022, just one in six people aged 16-64 in the North of England hold at most a level 1 qualification, compared to just over one in seven in England as a whole. If Government truly wants to level up, then they need to invest in our education and skills system to help us address this challenge.
For too long, central government has not taken a holistic view of skills and education. There is a disconnect between skills and jobs, and between Whitehall and our local labour market in Manchester. Our local businesses, employers, education and skills partners and local leaders understand the local labour market and know what is required to plug the skills gap. However, further devolution is needed to make a success of addressing the challenges which we currently face.
Following the publication of the Levelling Up White Paper last year, Greater Manchester was recognised as a ‘trailblazer’ Combined Authority, and negotiations began with central government on further devolution of skills budgets. Greater Manchester’s leaders have been calling for further devolution of the skills system, careers and more employment support.
Following the Budget earlier this month, the government listened and in Greater Manchester we now have the ability to create the country’s first integrated technical education city-region. This is now a step in the right direction in terms of skills devolution, however, there is still more the government needs to do to ensure Manchester has all the necessary powers to provide the skills opportunities Mancunians deserve.
Manchester continues to be a thriving city which is making good progress with our growth in terms of the economy and jobs. We must build on that momentum with our partners in the sector, and call on the government to provide fair funding in order to truly deliver the benefits of ‘levelling up’.
This council resolves: -
1. To ask the Leader of the Council to continue to work with the Mayor of Greater Manchester to ensure that Manchester’s voice continues to be heard when pushing for further skills devolution from central government.
2. To request that the Leader of the Council writes to the government calling for education and skills to be front and centre of all levelling up activity and investment.
3. To lobby the government to increase spending at all levels of education and skills and to invest further in lifelong learning.
Proposed by Councillor Taylor, Seconded by Councillor Wilson and supported ... view the full agenda text for item 4.
Notice of Motion - Calling for an immediate Rent Freeze and end to Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions
At the end of February, Andy Burnham signed an open letter to the Government calling for a freeze on private sector rents. He was joined by his fellow Labour metropolitan mayors in London and Liverpool, along with the two co-leaders of the Green Party, Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay, the Greater Manchester Tenants Union, the Greater Manchester Law Centre, several Labour Councils, unions and organisations across the country in signing the letter to housing secretary Michael Gove.
What the letter asked was:
The Government must now act to protect renters. We therefore call on the government to follow the lead of the Scottish government and:
· Introduce an immediate freeze on rents to protect renters.
· Implement an immediate ban on evictions until the cost of living crisis is over.
· Deliver on the commitment to end section 21 by fast tracking the much-delayed Renters Reform Bill.
In response Tory Government said: “We continue to work with the sector and tenants, however, evidence shows rent controls in the private sector do not work – leading to declining standards and a lack of investment and may encourage illegal subletting. Our reforms will deliver a fairer deal for renters, including empowering them to challenge unjustified rent increases and a ban on Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.”
This response is neither true nor adequate to the urgent action we need right now in this cost-of-living crisis for our city’s private renters.
The urgent nature of the crisis also shows why plans to increase housing supply, even if they were to actually be implemented by this council, are inadequate on their own – any effect on price of new supply would take years to filter through and not make much difference in the here and now.
This council notes that:
· Privately rented homes in Manchester make up around 32% of the total housing stock.
· The average cost of privately renting a property in Manchester, according to property websites, has increased in 2022 by 20.5%, from average monthly rent of £959 to £1,157. In January 2023 that had risen to £1,600.
· Around 40% of council homes have been transferred to the private rented sector through right-to-buy. The UK Housing Review 2022 branding right-to-buy as a ‘strategic failure’. Many of those homes ended up in the unregulated private rented sector and often were NOT offered to families at an affordable rent.
· Increasingly unaffordable rents makes the Council’s efforts to accommodate homeless people and families by using temporary accommodation inherently inflationary and precarious.
· Understandably the council are trying every avenue to reduce the costs and provide a decent standard of housing for our residents, however recent proposals to offer to bring private stock up to a living standard and supplement the rent for a period of 12 months, both incentivise private landlordism and leave families at risk of future eviction. This at a time when the higher rent hits families already struggling with the cost of living.
· The current demand for rented properties at affordable prices has led to an ... view the full agenda text for item 5.
Proceedings of the Executive PDF 88 KB
To submit the minutes of the Executive on 15 February 2023 (non-budget).
Questions to Executive Members and Others under Procedural Rule 23
To receive answers to any questions that councillors have raised in accordance with Procedural Rule 23.
To note the minutes of the following committees:
Communities & Equalities – 7 February & 7 March 2023
Resources & Governance – 7 February & 7 March 2023
Health – 8 February, 22 February & 8 March 2023
Children & Young People – 8 February & 8 March 2023 (to follow)
Environment & Climate Change – 9 February & 9 March
Economy – 9 February & 9 March 2023
Proceedings of Committees PDF 385 KB
To submit for approval the minutes of the following meetings and consider recommendations made by the committee:
Planning and Highways Committee – 16 February and 16 March 2023 (to follow)
Licensing Policy Committee – 10 March 2023
Standards Committee – 16 March 2023
Constitutional and Nomination Committee – 29 March 2023 (to be tabled)
Resolution to designate certain streets as prohibited, licence or consent streets for the purpose of street trading PDF 88 KB
To consider the report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing
Standards Committee - Annual Report PDF 109 KB
The Council is requested to note the report.
Key Decisions Report PDF 78 KB
The report of the City Solicitor is enclosed.