Agenda

Agenda

Council - Wednesday, 10th July, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: The Council Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Contact: Andrew Woods 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

The Lord Mayor's Announcements and Special Business

2.

Interests

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

 

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To submit for approval the minutes of the meeting held on 15 May 2024.

4.

Notice of Motion - Outcome of the 2024 General Election

This Council notes the outcome of the General Election held on Thursday 4 July 2024

 

Proposed by Councillor Craig, seconded by Councillor Midgley and supported by Councillors Hacking, Igbon, Karney, Rawlins, Reid, Richards, T Robinson and White

5.

Notice of Motion - Manchester City Council to Endorse the Plant Based Treaty

It is widely recognised that our farming and agricultural industries are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental breakdown. Animal agriculture is particularly damaging, contributing to an estimated 14% of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

 

In 2019, Manchester declared a Climate Emergency, and has since made a commitment to be a carbon zero city by 2038. This is backed up by our Manchester Climate Change Action Plan and the ambitious goals highlighted in the 2022 update. As stated in the Our Manchester Strategy, “across Manchester, we need to achieve an initial reduction of direct CO2 emissions of at least 15% every year, 50% during 2021–2025”. Unfortunately as a city, we are nowhere near achieving this. Therefore we must take urgent and bold action now to ensure we are able to meet our climate targets.

 

The Plant Based Treaty aims to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems caused by conventional animal agriculture, to promote a shift to more healthy, sustainable plant-based diets and to actively reverse damage done to planetary functions, ecosystem services and biodiversity, based on three core principles:

 

a)      Relinquish: no land use change, ecosystem degradation or deforestation for conventional animal agriculture

b)      Redirect: an active transition away from animal based food systems to plant-based systems

c)      Restore: actively restore key ecosystems, particularly restoring forests and rewilding landscapes

 

Food production takes up 70% of our entire landmass in the UK, two thirds of which is used for animal grazing.  The 2023 State of Nature report found that the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries on earth, stating that despite progress in conservation efforts “the UK’s nature and wider environment continues, overall, to decline and degrade”. Producing a kilo of beef creates, on average, 12 times more CO2 than a kilo of tofu or other soya based proteins. Meanwhile, producing a litre of dairy milk uses, on average, at least four times as much land as producing a litre of plant milk.

 

At the same time, the consumption of excessive meat and dairy products contributes to a decrease in public health, including heightening the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. As recognised in the Our Manchester Strategy, Mancunians have some of the worst health outcomes in the country, including high rates of death from cancer, heart and respiratory illnesses. The Plant Based Treaty promotes systemic changes that would lead to healthier food options being the default, rather than a privilege available to those who can afford it. Endorsing the Plant Based Treaty is therefore another opportunity for us to show our commitment to climate, environment, and the welfare of our residents.

 

This Council notes:-

 

·            Diets with low or no meat and dairy are a culturally sensitive option, and are widely consumed across the world by many different cultures and religions

·            Other councils in the UK have endorsed the Plant Based Treaty, including Norwich City Council, Lambeth Council and Edinburgh City Council

·            Edinburgh Council carried out a study to understand  ...  view the full agenda text for item 5.

6.

Notice of Motion - Making our parks more accessible and inclusive

Last year as part of the discovery phase of Manchester’s bid to become a UNICEF Child Friendly City, we heard the views of over 11,000 young people. They told us that they want to be made to feel even more welcome in public spaces, such as parks and have opportunities to play, meet friends and enjoy themselves.

 

Council notes:-

 

That as part of the UNICEF Child Friendly City bid, the children and young people of Manchester have chosen Place, Health, and Safe and Secure as their three thematic badges, with the golden thread of Equal and Included running though all that we do.

 

Scope, the disability charity in their “Let’s Play Fair” campaign produced a Playground Accessibility Report. Nationally they found that –

 

·            Only 1 in 10 playgrounds are inclusive to disabled children,

·            Nearly three quarters of playgrounds are places where it would be difficult for disabled and non-disabled children to play together.

 

We are responsible for over 140 park and play facilities and despite 14 years of unprecedented cuts to local government finance, where Manchester lost in excess of £443 million, this Labour Council has invested in our parks to make them more accessible and inclusive, this includes:-

 

·            The Lakeside Adventure Playground at Heaton Park and Mayfield Park include accessible play equipment.

·            An orienteering course has been developed at Boggart Hole Clough based around benches, so that residents who are less mobile can get involved.

·            Funding is in place for new and replacement equipment at 19 Manchester play facilities

 

The example of Fair Play Barnet, where a playground has been designed with maximum accessibility and inclusivity, so that people of all ages and abilities can play.

 

That it is important that we meaningfully consult with, and learn from our families, carers and community groups. We can benefit from their lived experiences, and make sure that our parks can be used and enjoyed by all our residents.

 

Therefore, this Council resolves to –

 

(1)       Use the opportunity of the refreshed parks strategic to continues the work to make our parks and open spaces full accessibility and inclusive.

(2)       Learn from parks like Mayfield, Heaton Park and Fair Play Barnet on how we can make our parks more accessible and inclusive, particularly with respect of equipment and resources – including car parking, entry gates, play equipment, wheelchair friendly benches etc

(3)       Continue to engage with friends groups, local families, carers and community groups, and work with them and partner organisations to establish a set of accessibility and inclusivity standards, which can be audited on a regular basis.

(4)       Work with the new government to provide additional funding for parks and open spaces to make them more accessible and inclusive.

 

Proposed by Councillor Gartside, seconded by Councillor McCaul and supported by Councillors Azra Ali, Lovecy, McHale, Midgley, Reid and Reeves.

7.

Notice of Motion - Tell Kier Starmer to Reset the relationship between government and councils to help meet our climate targets

In 2019, Manchester declared a Climate Emergency, and has since made a commitment to be a carbon zero city by 2038. The Manchester Climate Change Action Framework 2022 update stated that as a city we will not be reaching our first milestone to reduce the city’s direct emissions of 50% by 2025.

 

Whether our approach as a city to catch up with our goals is through immediate, large-scale action and investment or taking a phased approach, to face this challenge we call for a reset of the relationship between government and councils to meet our climate targets.

 

To tackle this within the context of our city region The Greater Manchester Combined Authority Trailblazer deeper devolution deal offers a closer and more supportive working relationship with the Government, but is not sufficient and vague on financial commitments and must go further.

 

A “Take Back Control Act” would need to be very clear on a local low-carbon economy as a “gold standard”.

 

This Council recognises:-

 

Local delivery of net zero is essential to the UK’s commitments to net zero by 2050 and to 68% emissions reductions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The UK’s 2030 emission reductions target will crucially be already missed by 4% to 15%, which means that the sixth carbon budget is already off-track.

 

We note that the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has found that supporting a local approach for delivering net zero by 2050 would be at half the cost of a national approach and would deliver three times the financial returns to our communities. A fair transition to a local net zero economy has the potential to boost prosperity and well-being in every corner of the UK. On 19 October 2023 the Local Government Association (LGA), District Councils Network (DCN), County Councils Network (CCN) and London Councils have jointly called on the Government to back local climate action for that reason.

 

We further note that, when it comes to adaptation, the LGA states that “Nationally we are not sufficiently prepared for the impacts of climate change, and central government must prioritise its work with local governments to close this gap.” We further note that “For many climate impacts it is the most vulnerable in society that will be most impacted and have the least ability to adapt”.

 

This Council agrees:-

 

·            The Mission Zero Coalition is right when it says that “The quickest, cheapest and fairest route to net-zero is through local authorities. As analysis has shown, local-led action could save the UK £140bn in reaching net-zero compared to a top-down approach, while delivering almost double the energy savings and social benefits.”

·            The results of a recent LGA survey suggesting that 67% of councils are not confident in hitting their net zero targets is concerning.

 

In terms of our City Region, in October 2023 Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, called for local flexibility and funding on net zero, alongside a stable and progressive national approach. He said that a local, place-specific approach to net zero can deliver  ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.

8.

Notice of Motion - Tell Kier Starmer to Scrap the 2 child benefit cap

The two-child limit on Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit was introduced in April 2017 by the Conservative government and prevents families in need from claiming targeted financial support for more than two children.

 

As of 2024, families receive £3,455 a year for their second child under the child element of Universal Credit, and families subject to the cap lose out on this amount per year for each subsequent child.  The policy has been widely regarded as a principal driver of child poverty.

 

This Council notes that:-

 

·            Manchester has one of the highest poverty rates of any local authority in the UK.

·            Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to experience mental health issues, poorer educational attainment, and worse job opportunities later in life.

·            A new report by the Commons Education Select Committee warns mental health problems and cost-of-living pressures on families are among the complex reasons for increased absenteeism at school.

·            As of 2022, 20% of all children in Manchester are living in a family affected by the two-child limit, with over 7,100 households affected.

·            Manchester Council has a duty to advocate for these families in need, and a duty to pressure the government of the day to pursue welfare policies that alleviate poverty and the causes of poverty.

·            250,000 children would be immediately lifted out of poverty upon removal of the policy, according to the Child Poverty Action Group.

 

This Council also notes that:

 

·            The Institute for Fiscal Studies has reported that in the next year, 250,000 extra children are likely to be affected by the policy, and by the end of the next Parliament, an extra 670,000 children will likely be affected.

·            The upfront cost of removing the two-child limit will be approximately £3.4 billion a year in the financial year 2024/25 according to the IFS, which amounts to roughly 3% of the total working-age benefit budget.

·            The impact of the two-child limit policy has disproportionately impacted Muslim and Jewish communities more than any other faith group.

·            The then-Labour MP for Manchester Gorton, Afzal Khan, highlighted the impact of the two-child limit on Manchester’s Muslim community at a recent House of Commons debate.

 

This Council supports:-

 

·            Further research into potential savings on the long-term costs of removing the two-child limit, which the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggests may reduce as overall life outcomes improve.

·            Wider work in the community to alleviate poverty, for example, improving access to jobs with good wages and reducing the levels of unclaimed benefit when there is entitlement.

 

This Council therefore resolves to:-

 

(1)       Oppose the two-child limit on Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit

(2)       Ask the Leader of the Council to write to the Prime Minister to highlight the impact the two-child benefit cap has had in Manchester, and request the policy be scrapped.

 

Proposed by Councillor Good, seconded by Councillor Leech and supported by Councillors Abdullatif, Johnson, Kilpatrick, Northwood, Nunney and Wiest.

9.

Proceedings of the Executive pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To submit the minutes of the Executive on 5 June 2024 and in particular to consider:

 

Exe/24/49        Capital Programme Outturn 2023/24

 

Approve the virements over £0.5m between capital schemes to maximise use of funding resources available to the City Council as set out in Appendix 3 of the report.

 

To approve the budget changes to the Council’s capital programme as follows:-

 

·                Children’s Services - Schools Capital Maintenance Programme. A capital budget increase of £3.971m funded by Government Grant.

 

·                Estates – Asset Management Programme. A capital budget increase of £0.500m in 2024/25, £0.250m in 2025/26 and £0.250m in 2026/27 was requested, funded by Capital Receipts.

 

·                Highways Services - Removal of Obstructions – Decluttering.  A capital budget decrease of £0.200m was requested and approval of a corresponding transfer of £0.200m to the revenue budget, funded by Capital Fund.

 

·                Public Sector Housing – Housing Operations Programme 2024-25. A capital budget increase of £3m in 2024/25 and £1.4m in 2025/26 by HRA Reserve.

 

·                Private Sector Housing – Disabled Facilities Grant. A capital budget increase of £9.253m in 2024/25 funded by Government Grant

Additional documents:

10.

Questions to Executive Members and Others under Procedural Rule 23 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To receive answers to any questions that councillors have raised in accordance with Procedural Rule 23.

 

11.

Scrutiny Committees pdf icon PDF 555 KB

To note the minutes of the following committees:

 

·       Economy & Regeneration – 21 May 2024

·       Communities & Equalities – 21 May 2024

·       Children & Young People – 22 May 2024

·       Health – 22 May 2024

·       Resources and Governance – 23 May 2024

·       Environment, Climate Change and Neighbourhoods – 23 May 2024

 

 

12.

Proceedings of Committees pdf icon PDF 701 KB

To submit for approval the minutes of the following meetings and consider recommendations made by the committee:

 

·       Audit Committee – 23 April 2024

·       Standards Committee – 14 March, 11 April and 13 June 2024

·       Planning and Highways Committee - 30 May 2024

·       Personnel Committee - 28 May, 5 June and 14 June 2024

 

In particular, the Council is requested to consider minute:

 

PE/24/8        Recruitment to Director of Housing and Strategic Director Children's and Education

 

To agree that a £5,000 market rate supplement may be applied, at the discretion of the Director of Human Resources, Organisational Development and Transformation, in respect of the recruitment to the Director of Housing role.”  

 

·       Health and Wellbeing Board - 5 June 2024

·       Constitutional and Nomination Committee – 10 July 2024

 

13.

Appointment of Executive Members and their Portfolios pdf icon PDF 87 KB

The report of the Executive Leader is enclosed.

14.

Standards Committee - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 127 KB

The report of the City Solicitor is enclosed.

Additional documents:

15.

Pay Policy Statement 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

The report of the Director of HR, OD and Transformation is enclosed.

Additional documents:

16.

Key Decisions Report pdf icon PDF 75 KB

The report of the City Solicitor is enclosed.