Agenda and minutes
Economy Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 18th July, 2019 10.00 am
Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension
Contact: Michael Williamson
To consider any items which the Chair has agreed to have submitted as urgent.
The Chair introduced an item of urgent business which was in relation to the omittance of the report in relation to Officers response to the Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration’s Affordable Housing proposals from the agenda, as this had been schedule for consideration at this meeting
She invited the Director of Housing to provide a brief verbal update to the Committee.
The Director of Housing apologised that the report had not been completed in time for inclusion on the agenda for this meeting and advised that the report would be completed and submitted to the meeting of the Committee in September. He advised that the report will contain comprehensive responses to the proposals set out by the Executive Member.
The Committee notes that the report will be submitted to the Committee’s meeting on 5 September 2019.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2019.
The minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2019 were agreed as a correct record.
Report of the Strategic Director – Growth and Development attached
This report sets out the feedback that the Council has received following consultation with residents, businesses, landowners and other stakeholders to the draft Eastlands Regeneration Framework and proposes a response to the key issues that have been raised within the consultation process.
The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director – Growth and Development, which sought the Committee’s endorsement to the Executive’s approval of the Eastlands Regeneration Framework, following consultation with residents, businesses, landowners and other stakeholders.
The Leader referred to the main points and themes within the report, addressed the recent consultation undertaken by interested parties and also addressed the national press coverage in relation to the proposals. This included:-
· Although this was an updated Eastlands Regeneration Framework, it was not fundamentally different to what had previously been considered and agreed;
· An overview of the public consultation approach, with two specific matters that had drawn a significant interest –
· the proposals within the Etihad Campus Commercial Zone Sub Area for a second large indoor arena; and
· the proposals to bring forward a commercial led scheme – MXM – on Pollard Street, in and around the New Islington tram stop.
· In relation to the MXM proposal, the Framework did not propose any changes to what had previously been identified for the use of this brownfield site, other than a specific proposal had now been received which was consistent with the existing Framework;
· It was proposed that 50% of the land at Pollard Street would be green public space of high quality, including a linear park proposal.
· The MXM proposal would also create 2,500 jobs for the East Manchester area;
· The proposal for an Arena within the Etihad Campus area was consistent with the Framework for East Manchester going back over 20 years, as a key aim of the Framework (historically referred to as Sport City) had always been to deliver a large scale leisure provision;
· Any proposal for a large scale leisure provision on this site would be subject to a whole range of particular tests, including a significant ground transformation plan, a market analysis of sustainability;
· Clarification on how an expression of interest in a possible Arena had arisen and that that there had been no planning application submitted for an indoor Arena within the Etihad Campus area; and
· Addressing misleading information contained within a leaflet from SMG Europe (current operators of Manchester Arena), which had been circulated to residents in East Manchester which had had impacted on the consultation responses.
The Chair of the Committee outlined and clarified the purpose and role of the Scrutiny Committee in considering the report, reaffirming that the Committee was not scrutinising a proposal for a new arena as no proposal had been received, but rather it would concern itself with the decision making process, looking at the Council’s consultation on the Framework, how it worked, the feedback and responses and recommendations to the Executive.
The Chair of the Committee invited Mr John Sharkey, Executive Vice President of European Operations for SMG Europe, to address the Committee on the proposals within the Framework. He set out the concerns SMG Europe had in relation to the proposals within the Framework. The main concern being the inability for the Manchester market to adequately support two large ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
Report of the Chief Executive attached
This report provides an update on the draft Developing a More Inclusive Economy – Our Manchester Industrial Strategy. An initial draft of the Strategy is appended to this report, along with the draft delivery plan and the methodology and findings of the wide-ranging engagement exercise undertaken to inform the development of the Strategy.
The Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive, which provided an update on draft “Developing a More Inclusive Economy – Our Manchester Industrial Strategy” and the associated draft delivery plan and the methodology and findings of the wide-ranging engagement exercise undertaken to inform the development of the Strategy.
The main points and themes within the report included:-
· The Strategy set out Manchester’s vision for developing a more inclusive economy that all residents could participate in and benefit from;
· The Strategy aligned to the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy and specifically set out Manchester’s unique position as the conurbation core, and our responsibility to promote and drive inclusive growth within its economy;
· The Strategy considered Manchester’s successes and challenges, and focused on three pillars – People, Place and Prosperity;
· Each of the pillars contained a number of themes to be prioritised to promote economic and social justice in Manchester;
· To implement the vision of the Strategy, a delivery plan containing a small number of evidence-based initiatives to make Manchester’s economy more inclusive had been developed;
· These initiatives are in addition to existing work programme and will add value; and
· A wide ranging engagement exercise was undertaken in winter 2018/19 to inform the development of the Strategy. Alongside this, a literature review and analysis of quantitative data was also undertaken;
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:-
· Given the expected significant increase in population within the city, had any thought been given to ensure the required infrastructure was in place, for example school provision;
· What support was offered to local businesses to help in relation to reducing carbon emissions and payment of Business Rates;
· There was a need to consider how the Council’s recently adopted ;position in declaring a climate emergency impacted on this strategy
· There was a key opportunity to develop a skills led industry within the area of carbon retrofitting and what work was being done to develop this;
· The Strategy needed to also reflect the opportunity to develop District Centres and the support available to businesses in these areas;
· It was noted that the Inclusive Economy section of the draft strategy was particularly strong and the Council should be promoting further the positive work it was doing in this area;
· Whilst it was pleasing to see the inclusion of Community Wealth building, it was felt that more could be done to strengthen this area, incorporating people and the impact on health;
· There was an opportunity to look at wellbeing (within its holistic sense), as part of the Strategy;
· There was concern around the higher digital skills that will be needed in future labour markets and the lack of reference to the linkage of these skills to an academic maths qualification;
· Whilst it was welcomed that Manchester was aspiring to be an international hub of creative industries, it was felt that there was a lack of reference to grass roots creative industries, such as Manchester International Festival and the Manchester Fringe, as these provided ... view the full minutes text for item 32.
Report of the Leader of the Council
This reports provide an overview of work undertaken and progress towards the delivery of the Council's priorities as set out in the Our Manchester Strategy for those areas within the portfolio of the Leader of the Council.
The Committee considered the report of the Leader of the Council, which provided an overview of work undertaken and progress towards the delivery of the Council’s priorities, as set out in the Our Manchester strategy, for those areas within his portfolio.
By way of a further update the Leader informed the Committee that the Executive would be considering a report at its meeting on 24 July 2019, requesting that he Executive agreed the elements of the Council motion on climate emergency that were an executive function and advised that the Executive would be supporting the motion in its entirety and subsequently an Action plan would be presented back to the Executive in the Autumn
Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions within the Leaders report were:-
· It was concerning that given the current level of political uncertainty and no indication as to whether or not a government spending review will take place, what the implications would be for the Council’s budget from April 2020 onwards;
· Was there any possibility for Council investment into the refurbishment of the Sharp Project or was this to be externally funded; and
· What had the Leader done differently as a result of scrutiny;
· What was the Leader doing to ensure Manchester and local authorities would be potential beneficiaries of the comprehensive spending review (CSR);
· How was the Council engaging with relevant bodies in regards to Brexit and a possible Shared Prosperity Fund; and
· How well was the relationship working between the Council and the GMCA.
The Leader advised that in terms of the Sharp Project and Space Studios and One Central Park, these had initially required significant Council investment, however, over the last five years it had bene expected that any further expansion or further investment would be funded out of the businesses themselves. In terms of expansion, Fujitsu tower had been removed at Space Studios resulting in a very significant site being available and a range of opportunities were being considered, including the potential for additional sound stage provision and workshop space. Similarly with the Sharp Project, it did require a level of upgrading in order to maintain its unique offer.
In terms of what he had done differently as a result of Scrutiny, he commented that scrutiny had introduced more rigor into the Officer process of preparing reports and the Executive gave very careful considerations to any recommendations that had come from Scrutiny.
He advised that he Chaired the LGA’s City Region Board which one of its main areas of focus was to ensure funding solutions for local authorities were advantageous as possible. The LGA had made already made representations to Government around the CSR and where local authorities largest pressures rested (Adults and Children’s services). From a Greater Manchester perspective, there would be a focussed submission around skills, infrastructure and building a more inclusive economy, as, as a region, it was more advantageous by having a collective voice. The Chief Executive added that Manchester was good at using ... view the full minutes text for item 33.
Report of the Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration
This reports provide an overview of work undertaken and progress towards the delivery of the Council's priorities as set out in the Our Manchester Strategy for those areas within the portfolio of the Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration.
The Committee considered the report of the Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration, which provided an overview of work undertaken and progress towards the delivery of the Council’s priorities, as set out in the Our Manchester strategy, for those areas within his portfolio.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions within the Executive Member’s report were:-
· Would it be possible to roll out selective licensing to high streets in the future;
· Would the right to buy back policy for Council houses be included in the report expected at Septembers meeting;
· What had the Executive Member done differently as a result of Scrutiny;
· What was meant by management companies within selective licensing; and
· How would local ward Members have an input into the community led housing event and consultation on the final strategy;
· It was suggested that the community led housing strategy should be more ambitious and look at wider and larger schemes.
The Executive Member advised that in terms of the rollout of selective licensing, a further four areas had been identified to roll this out to which would be reported to Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny in early 2020. In relation to selective licensing on high streets, targeted work on flats above shops had taken place to address issues of standards of accommodation and the vulnerability of occupants. Further work would be undertaken to extend the selective licensing process. She added that the reference to management companies within the selective licensing pilot was another terminology for letting agents, who were used where struggling landlords were not able to manage or were not aware of their responsibilities and this direct support had been welcomed.
In terms of the Council’s Right to Buy policy, the Executive Member confirmed that this would be covered in the report expected at Septembers meeting on Officers responses to her affordable housing policy proposals. She added that although the Right to Buy Policy would not solve the City’s housing crisis it was important in terms of the message it sent to government and the cost that it generates for the Council.
The Executive Member advised that Scrutiny had made her look more closely at the relationship between strategic development and local ward members and the importance of consulting appropriately with local ward members on strategic housing and residential growth proposals/developments. She also commented on the positive work that had been undertaken by the District Centres Sub Group.
Furthermore, the Executive Member reported that the community housing strategy was about ensuring groups of residents in the City who wanted to come forward with their own schemes had a very clear understanding of how the Council would engage and support them. This would come to scrutiny for the opportunity to feed into this.
The Committee notes the report
Report of the Head of Work and Skills attached
This report provides an overview of the key recommendations of the Independent Panel Review of Post-18 Education and Funding, chaired by Dr Philip Augar, including a short commentary on some of the opportunities and issues for the City. It also sets the context for bringing back a more detailed report in the future subject to the Government agreeing the implementation and funding of some or all of the recommendations
The Committee considered a report of the Head of Work and Skills, which provided an overview of the key recommendations of the Independent Panel Review of Post-18 Education and Funding, chaired by Dr Philip Augar.
The main points and themes within the report included:-
· Key findings of the review;
· Key messages for Greater Manchester;
· Guiding principles and the panel’s proposals
· Cost of implementation; and
· Implications for the delivery of both the Manchester and Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategies.
The Committee was advised that report was for information only at this stage, and set the context for bringing back a more detailed report to a future Committee meeting, subject to the Government agreeing the implementation and funding of some or all of the recommendations.
A key point that arose from the Committees discussions was a proposal that the Council lobbied central government to influence that this review remained on their agenda and the recommendations were taken forward
The Executive Member of Skills, Culture and Leisure noted that the review had been long overdue and there had been a disproportionate balance between further education and higher education. He gave a commitment to lobby government to try and ensure that it took on board the findings of the review.
The Chief Executive advised that she led on skills on behalf of Greater Manchester and outlined the work being undertaken regionally and nationally to look at how the findings of the review could be taken forward, including the possibility of devolution of funding for further education. The Head of Work and Skills gave a brief outline of the opportunities that existed for the City to raise the profile and offer of Further Education.
(1) Notes the report;
(2) Requests that the Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure lobbies government to ensure it takes up the recommendations of the review; and
(3) Agrees to receive a more detailed report at a future meeting, subject to the Government agreeing the implementation and funding of some or all of the recommendations
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.
The Committee considered a 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 proposed that the Committee received a report at its next meeting on the impact to date on Manchester resulting from the ongoing Brexit discussions, which was listed as an item to be scheduled on the work programme.
(1) notes the report;
(2) agrees to include a report on the impact of ongoing Brexit discussions on Manchester, as outlined in the work programme, at its next meeting on 5 September 2019.