Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Economy Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 23rd June, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension. View directions

Contact: Michael Williamson 

Note: The meeting can be viewed on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/717501458 

Items
No. Item

22.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 181 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2022

Minutes:

Decision

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2022 were approved as a correct record.

23.

Manchester Housing Strategy (2022-2032) pdf icon PDF 401 KB

Report of the Interim Director of Housing and Residential Growth attached.

 

This report provides an update on the development of the new Manchester Housing Strategy (2022-2032).  The Strategy brings together themes from the previous Housing Strategy (2015-21) and the Residential Growth Strategy (2015-25) into a single, holistic document.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Interim Director of Housing & Residential Growth that provided an update on the development of the new Manchester Housing Strategy (2022-2032).

 

Key points and themes in the report included:

 

·                The strategy was the product of an extensive consultation and stakeholder engagement exercise;

·                It set an ambitious target to increase housing supply and affordable housing growth in particular;

·                The strategy brought together themes from the previous Housing Strategy (2015-21) and the Residential Growth Strategy (2015-25) into a single, holistic document

·                The strategy set out a long-term vision which considered how best to deliver the city’s housing priorities and objectives, building on progress already made, whilst tackling head on the scale and complexity of the challenges ahead. and

·                Describing the four priorities of the strategy which were to:

·                Increase affordable housing supply and build more new homes for all residents.

·                Work to end homelessness and ensure housing is affordable and accessible to all.

·                Address inequalities and create neighbourhoods where people want to live.

·                Address the sustainability and zero carbon challenges in new and existing housing stock.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·                The Committee fully supported the strategy;

·                The Committee endorsed the ambitions and priorities described, particularly in regard to carbon emissions, equalities and affordability;

·                Noting the issue of density, due consideration needed to be given to active travel, appropriate provision of bike parking, biodiversity, green space and the emerging evidence in relation to the ‘heat island’ effect of cities and the impact this had on individuals and the wider contribution to the heating of the planet;

·                What was the relationship with Homes England, noting that financial support from them was required;

·                The need for continued scrutiny on the delivery of the strategy;

·                The request to scrutinise strategies, such as the emerging Local Plan at the development stage so that the Committee could contribute and inform their development;

·                How would the Local Plan impact on the Housing Strategy;

·                What was the approach to using existing brown field land to deliver housing as part of this strategy;

·                The need to engage with local developers;

·                If private landlords left the market as a result of increased regulation would the Council or Housing partners purchase properties;

·                Noting the impact the Right To Buy policy had on the levels of social housing across the city;

·                Noting that there was a need to develop green skills and training in the city to support retrofit activities at scale and the delivery of future housing developments;

·                The need to consider wider infrastructure needs, such as the provision of schools and health services when developing housing plans as these were vital to support neighbourhoods and communities; and

·                The need for an estate wide approach to retrofitting.

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Employment welcomed the comments from the Committee and responded to their questions by saying that the Council had a positive relationship with Homes England and dialogue continued with them regarding funding to deliver the ask  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

This City: Progress Update pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development) attached

 

This report provides an update on progress of both strategic and scheme specific activities in advance of a further report being presented to the Council’s Executive in September 2022 on the company business plan.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development) that described that in December 2021, the Executive approved a business case outlining the ambitions and intentions of This City, the Council’s wholly owned housing delivery vehicle.

 

Key points and themes in the report included:

 

·                Providing an introduction, background and core principles that had driven the creation of This City; and

·                Providing an update on progress of both strategic and scheme specific activities in advance of a further report being presented to the Council’s Executive in September 2022 on the company business plan.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·                Supporting the retention of control of rent setting, management and lettings?functions;

·                The need to recognise and consider the needs of the changing demographic of those choosing to live in the city centre, particularly families;

·                How was Public Realm defined;

·                An assurance was sought that the bespoke procurement framework for This City was aligned to the Council’s procurement policy, especially in relation to Social Value and carbon reduction;

·                Appropriate provisions of bike storage and parting needed to be included in any consideration of the issue of parking;

·                Requesting that Business Plan that was scheduled to be submitted to the Executive in September be shared with the Committee; and

·                The need to include a clause in tenancy and all terms of occupation to ensure that these properties were retained and not sold into the private rented sector.

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Employment said that the issue of the changing demographic of the city centre was recognised by advising that Rodney Street, the first This City scheme to be brought forward as part of the housing delivery vehicle included townhouses that were suitable for families. He further advised that Public Realm would be consistent with the Public Realm strategy and consideration was given to walking and cycling and green space. He further confirmed that bike parking had been considered in the Rodney Street scheme.

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Employment stated that the ambitions and intentions of This City clearly articulated the commitment to address carbon emissions and could be used to influence partners across this city. He further commented that clauses did exist to prevent these properties entering the private rented sector.

 

The Interim Director of Housing and Residential Growth informed the Committee that information in relation to tenancy management and maintenance would be shared following the meeting. He further commented that he would discuss with the Chair the most appropriate way for how the Business Plan that was scheduled to be submitted to the Executive in September could be shared with the Committee. He also commented that the bespoke procurement framework for This City did align with the Council’s procurement policy.

 

The Strategic Director (Growth and Development) informed the Committee that an asset management plan was being developed to centrally record and understand the nature of all land assets owned by the Council and this data would be used  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Final Evaluation of the Crumpsall Selective Licensing Area and Proposed Next Phase of Selective Licensing pdf icon PDF 499 KB

Report of the Interim Director of Housing and Residential Growth and Strategic Director Neighbourhoods attached

 

This report provides Members with the outcomes of the evaluation of the Crumpsall Selective Licensing area and advises on the proposed future phases of selective licensing.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Interim Director of Housing and Residential Growth and Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) that provided Members with the outcomes of the evaluation of the Crumpsall Selective Licensing (SL) area and to advise Members on the proposed future phases of selective licensing.

 

Key points and themes in the report included:

 

·                Providing and introduction and background of the schemes, noting that a key theme of the Council’s Private Rented Sector Strategy is tackling poor quality management in the Private Rented Sector;

·                A description of the implementation of the Crumpsall Scheme;

·                An analysis of the property conditions following compliance inspections;

·                Information in relation to enforcement activities to address poor property conditions and other related enforcement activity and property management;

·                Feedback from Neighbourhood Teams and case studies;

·                Information in relation to communications and engagement;

·                A summary and lessons learned; and

·                Conclusions, noting that the long-term plan was to continue to roll out new phases of SL across the city.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·                Fully supporting the roll out of Selective Licensing;

·                Was there evidence of landlords passing on the cost of licensing to their tenants in the form of rent increases;

·                Clarification was sought to how exemptions to licensing was determined;

·                Noting the positive impact the introduction of Selective Licensing had on strengthening relationships between residents and the Council;

·                The schemes improved residents knowledge of their rights as tenants; 

·                Welcoming the inclusion of real examples within the report and more needed to be done to promote the positive outcomes of these schemes; and

·                Could schemes be extended beyond the five year designation.

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Employment welcomed the Committee’s continued support for the further roll out of selective licensing as a tool for improving property standards within the Private Rented Sector. He said that these schemes were an opportunity to engage with both landlords and tenants and had increased tenants’ awareness of their rights. 

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Employment stated that it was important to raise awareness of these schemes and every opportunity was taken to do so, particularly when action was taken against rogue landlords. He further added that good practice and learning was shared with other Local Authorities. He stated that appropriate consideration was given to ensure that all publicity, information and advice were provided so as to ensure that all resident’s, particularly for those for whom English was not their first language were made aware of the schemes.

 

The Compliance and Enforcement Specialist stated that there was no evidence to suggest that rent increases had occurred as a result of landlords passing on the cost of the licence to their tenants, however this continued to be monitored. She further advised that the list of exemptions from licensing was prescribed in the legislation.

 

The Interim Director of Housing and Residential Growth stated that the five year designation for a scheme was again prescribed in legislation and consideration had to be given as to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit

 

This report provides the Committee with details of key decisions that fall within the Committee’s remit and an update on actions resulting from the Committee’s recommendations. The report also includes the Committee’s work programme, which the Committee is asked to amend as appropriate and agree.

Minutes:

The report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit which contained key decisions within the Committee’s remit and responses to previous recommendations was submitted for comment. Members were also invited to agree the Committee’s future work programme.

 

The Chair commented that as there was a report scheduled for the July meeting on the subject of Active Travel the recommendation listed in the recommendations monitor (ESC/22/02 Updates on Sub Strategies of the City Centre Transport Strategy) could be removed.

 

Decision

 

The Committee note the report and agree the work programme.