Council - Wednesday, 4th October, 2023 9.30 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 on12 July 2023.
Notice of Motion - Call for a General Election now
Since 2010, Manchester City Council has seen its budget decimated, losing the equivalent of £428 million a year. 13 years of cuts, the most intense and unfair cuts happening to local Government during the Coalition years of 2010-15 have been followed by the Tories mismanagement of the economy. Many local councils across the country are facing the prospect of going bust.
The last 13 years have seen an unprecedented decline in living standards and an increase in the number of children living in poverty. The House of Commons Library cites and increase of over 500,000 children living in poverty between 2011 and 2017/18. This has only got worse through the Cost of Living Crisis with the disastrous freezing of LHA and other benefits.
Public Services have been cut to the bone, and schools and hospitals are literally crumbling. The Coalition Government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, followed by the Conservative Governments short sighted vision for the education of our children, has now 13 years later, to outdated, dilapidated, crumbling and unsafe schools throughout the country. The recent RAAC scandal is one example of the short-sightedness of the Coalition Government’s cancellation of the successful Building Schools for the Future, and the Prime Minister further cutting budgets to rebuild schools when he was Chancellor.
We call on every member of the council to condemn the Lib Dem/Tory coalition government for cutting the Building Schools for the Future programme back in 2010.
Therefore this Council resolves to call on the Conservative Government to end 13 years of pain and chaos by calling for a General Election Now.
Proposed by Councillor Craig, seconded by Councillor Karney and supported by Councillors Akbar, Midgley, Rawlins, Reeves and White
Notice of Motion - Call on the Council to become a Co-operative
The Council notes that there are nearly 7,000 independent co-operative businesses across the UK, each owned and democratically run by their customers, employees, suppliers or members of their local community.
Today, the co-operative movement is a significant part of the UK’s economy, growing by 21% to £33billion, and outperforming the economy as a whole during the recent recession.
The number of people who own and control the UK’s co-operatives has grown by to 17.5m - nearly a quarter of the UK's population. From credit unions to community allotments – the rise in co-operative ownership is a significant development for the UK’s business sector, meaning that the number of co-op members continues to outstrip the number of shareholders in the UK.
This Council believes:-
· That the co-operative model provides a sustainable way of providing local government services that empower residents, service users and employees, giving them a fair share and an equal say.
· Local Councils up and down the country have already put these values into practice in a number of ways, for example developing the co-operative sector, resident and employee owned companies and co-operative schools and colleges. Our social value and ethical procurement policies for all of our contracts has been the envy of many other local authorities and a clear co-operative policy. Not least this has been put into place in the contracts we have tendered for, not least the construction of the Coop Live where many local apprentices have been employed.
· That the Council has the opportunity to “choose co-operative” when considering the future of local services, giving residents and communities more of a say in their area.
Therefore, we call on the Council to become a Co-operative Council by:-
(1) Working to incorporate co-operative values and principles when planning services and in its engagement with local residents.
(2) Ask the Council's scrutiny function to scrutinise the Council’s engagement with the co-operative and mutual sector in Manchester and in doing so look to make further recommendations for its potential growth.
(3) Requesting that Officers consider how to improve engagement with local cooperatives, for example through stakeholder events.
(4) Requesting Officers to explore the setting up of a community asset transfer fund, so that local communities can own and protect their own assets.
(5) Auditing our contractors and suppliers on how many meet the FairTax Mark standards, pay the Living Wage and continue with and expand our social value and ethical procurement policies and meet appropriate standards on apprenticeships.
(6) Protecting residents by always working hard to connect residents to jobs and opportunities, and through support on help to work schemes and on tackling poverty and the crisis of the cost of living increases.
(7) Requesting that Officers explore how the Council can support the possibility of supporting a great number of local Co-operatives, social enterprises and credit unions.
(8) Supporting the announcement that across Greater Manchester £750,000 will be made available to grow the inclusive economy with more co-operatives and social enterprises.
(9) Setting up a working group ... view the full agenda text for item 5.
Notice of Motion - Significantly Expand the use of Selective Licensing
This motion asks Manchester City Council to use the full extent of its powers to improve conditions for renters in Manchester.
In 2020, Manchester City Council launched a revised Private Rented Sector Strategy with aim to see “Manchester’s Private Rented Sector provide a high quality, low carbon, affordable and sustainable offer so that Manchester’s residents have a good choice of quality homes in clean, safe and vibrant neighbourhoods.”
We are midway through the delivery of this ambition and yet across the city in wards from north to south, east to west, we continue to see our residents live in appalling conditions. Overcrowded and in poor state of repair.
One of the actions we have taken is to introduce Selective Licensing.
‘Selective licensing’ is a licence scheme which requires all private landlords operating within a designated area to license any privately rented property within that area.
To date, we have introduced Selective Licensing in small sections of a handful of wards.
Currently only small sections of the following wards are being served:
May 2022 – April 2027
· Ben Street: Clayton and Openshaw
· Hyde Road: Gorton and Abbey Hey
· The Ladders: Gorton and Abbey Hey
· Trinity: Harpurhey
August 2023 – August 2028
· Matthews Lane, Levenshulme
· Great Western Street/Claremont Rd, Moss Side and Whalley Range
· Laindon/Dickenson Rd & Birch Lane, Rusholme
· The Royals, Longsight
Yet some of our residents living within the past schemes reported long delays in their requests for support, infrequent inspections, and landlords indifferent to the requirements the licences place upon them.
This Council notes:-
That the areas covered by Selective Licensing in the city represent a tiny proportion of the housing in Manchester that could be under the control of the city's Selective Licensing Team.
As all the revenue raised by the licences is used to monitor and administrate the scheme, this also represents a tiny proportion of the money that could be available to ensure that this Team has the proper resources to do their job.
This Council is also aware that:-
Liverpool City Council has been able to bring around 80% of its eligible housing into its Selective Licensing Scheme. The money raised means that their Selective Licensing Team is able to offer a robust and effective service to their residents.
This Council therefore resolves to extend the reach of Selective Licensing by:
(1) Request that the Executive ask national government for permission to extend landlord Licensing city wide.
(2) Request that the Executive ask for a report ask the officers responsible for the current and past schemes to provide a report to council of its strengths and weaknesses with a summary of the threats and opportunities for expansion.
(3) Request that the Executive extend the duration of current schemes and revisiting past schemes should evidence emerge that need has not been or is not being met.
(4) Request that the Executive commit to reaching the target of 100% of properties eligible to have been involved in a Selective Licensing Scheme by 2030.
Proposed by Councillor Bayunu, ... view the full agenda text for item 6.
Notice of Motion - Against the Closure of Staffed Ticket Offices
This Tory Government is again taking action to worsen the lives of ordinary working people already facing a cost-of-living crisis, by denying them widespread and easy access to the purchase of rail products and best value fares through the proposed closure of ticket offices.
These proposals also place many working people at risk of redundancy and there are no safeguards in place for future job security on our rail networks.
The announcement to carry out a public consultation within such a short time frame was farcical and clearly demonstrates how little interest this government has in the opinions of the majority of people in this country.
This Council is aware that:-
There are a range of products and services available at the ticket office, which may not be available from Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs). This includes refunds, season ticket changes, ranger and rover tickets, bus connections, park and ride, group save, disabled persons discount, season tickets over one month in length, advance fares, rail card purchases, off-peak tickets before 9.30am, changes to ticket classes, seat reservations, cycle reservations, photocards for season tickets, scholar tickets, sleeper bookings and car parking.
Using TVMs is a one-sided process, there is no interaction between customer and retailer like there is in the ticket office. In contrast, ticket office staff can ask customers questions about their journey and requirements to ensure they get the right ticket for their journey and can offer a range of routes and classes.
Many TVMs do not take cash, or permit a part cash, part card payment. Given that people on lower incomes and older and disabled people are more likely to use cash, these groups stand to be disproportionately affected by ticket office closures and may find it difficult to travel as a result.
Unlike ticket office staff, TVMs do not automatically offer passengers the cheapest ticket for their journey, or clearly explain restrictions on certain fares, such as operator-specific tickets.
Ticket Office staff also are best placed to sign post and safeguard facilities and other support for passengers with disabilities/accessibility or other equalities related needs.
Ticket office closures would cause a significant worsening of the facilities and support offered to disabled, Deaf and older people. Already, disabled people face numerous barriers in accessing the rail network and are three times less likely to travel by rail than non-disabled people. Twenty-two percent of the population had a disability in 2020/2 and since 2002/3 the number of people reporting a disability has increased by 3.8million (+35%).
This Council notes: -
That there has been overwhelming opposition to ticket office closures from disabled people’s organisations, including Disability Rights UK, National Federation of the Blind UK, Transport for All, RNIB, RNID, Guide Dogs, Scope, Thomas Pocklington Trust, Winvisible, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People and the MS Society.
That disabled people are much less likely than non-disabled people to have access to the internet, and therefore online ticketing is not accessible for many.
That there is substantial demand for the ticket ... view the full agenda text for item 7.
To submit the minutes of the Executive on 26 July 2023 and 13 September 2023 and in particular to consider:
Exe/23/70 Our Town Hall Project - Progress Update
The Executive recommend to Council approval of a capital budget increase of £29m for the project, funded by borrowing, to maintain progress with the construction works until the end of December 2023.
Exe/23/77 Capital Programme Monitoring P4 2023/24
The Executive recommends that the Council approve the following changes to the Council’s capital programme:-
· Aviva Studios, Home of Factory International - a capital budget increase of £22.2m, funded by borrowing.
· Corporate Services - Our New Finance & HRODT System – a revenue budget increase of £17.4m, to be spread across 4 financial years, and funded from the Capital Fund reserve.
· Neighbourhoods – Manchester Aquatic Centre (MAC) – a capital budget increase of £0.640m, funded by borrowing.
· Growth and Development – Piccadilly Garden Design Phase – a capital budget increase of £0.782m, funded by borrowing.
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.
· Economy & Regeneration –18 July and 5 September 2023 (to follow)
· Communities & Equalities – 18 July and 5 September 2023
· Children & Young People – 19 July and 6 September 2023
· Health – 19 July and 6 September 2023
· Resources & Governance – 20 July, 24 August and 7 September 2023
· Environment, Climate Change & Neighbourhoods – 20 July and 7 September 2023
To submit for approval the minutes of the following meetings and consider recommendations made by the committee:
· Audit Committee – 25 July and 19 September 2023
· Planning and Highways Committee – 27 July, 31 August and 21 September 2023 (to follow)
· Personnel Committee – 13 September and in particular, to consider:
PE/23/9 Recruitment to the role of Director of Population Health and Wellbeing
The Committee request Council agree the recruitment for the role to be at its current substantive grading level of SS4 (£105,566 to £116,346), with the optional inclusion of a market rate supplement up to a fixed maximum of £5,000 to be applied at the discretion of the Director of HROD and Transformation (in discussion with the Chief Executive).
· Health and Wellbeing Board – 20 September 2023
Report of the City Solicitor attached
Report of the City Solicitor attached
The report of the City Solicitor is attached.
Change of Council meeting date - March 2024
To agree the change of date of the Council meeting in March 2024, from Wednesday 27 March to Wednesday 20 March 2024