Manchester City Council

Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Economy Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 3rd September, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual meeting - Webcast at - https://manchester.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/485341

Contact: Michael Williamson 

Media

Items
No. Item

29.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Decision

 

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2020 as a correct record

30.

Update on COVID-19 Activity pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development)

 

This report provides Committee Members with a further update summary of the current situation in the city in relation to COVID-19 and an update on the work progressing in Manchester in relation to areas within the remit of this Committee. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute ESC/20/27 (Update on activity under COVID 19), the Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development), which provided a further update of the current situation in the city in relation to COVID-19 and an update on the work progressing in Manchester in relation to areas within the remit of the Committee.

           

The main points and themes within the report included:-

 

·                An economic overview at a national, regional and  local level;

·                A sectoral impact update, including the impact on footfall within the city, hospitality and visitor economies;

·                Planned reopening dates within the cultural sector and the funding needed for Manchester’s Cultural recovery plan;

·                The closure of Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport and the potential impact this would have on employment in the city;

·                The steps needed to stimulate development & investor confidence in the city;

·                Work being undertaken with TfGM to agree a broad overall transport plan to support the gradual opening up of the city with a focus on pedestrian movement and safe use of public transport;

·                Work being undertaken around Skills, Labour Market and Business Support following on from the THINK report findings; and

·                A progress update on the lobbying of government for additional funding.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-

 

·                Concern was expressed with the reduction in residential property sales within the city centre might also be linked to cladding issues not just the impact of the COVID19 crisis;

·                The increase in demand for turnover rent from hospitality businesses appeared to be a sensible response to the COVID19 crisis and was the Council engaging with landlords of businesses on this

·                Concern was expressed on the dangers of monopolisation of hospitality and leisure businesses due to the impact of COVID19;

·                How was the city centre likely to be impacted by the recently announced planning reforms;

·                Had any progress been  made with support for the city’s culture sector, including small venues and freelance performers;

·                Where would the capacity come from to enable people to transfer their skills into other areas as the city’s economy recovered

·                How was Kickstart positioned in the city and who would lead on this;

·                Had there been any assessments on quality of life and wellbeing and environmental impact assessments in regards to the number of people now working from home;

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration advised that city centre residential sales had been affected due to the issue of remedial works required to the cladding of a number of buildings.  This was an ongoing issue and due to a lack of qualified inspectors, was resulting in the slow certification and sign off for many buildings.  Discussions were taking place to see if any partnership arrangements could be put in place to speed up this process.

 

The Leader commented that there had been a surge in mental health issues in the city which could likely be attributed to the increase in home working and there would be a need for some form of “return  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Economic recovery narrative for the City pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development) attached

 

This report provides members with an overview of plans to develop an Economic Recovery Plan for the city, as a key part of the Council’s forward planning in response to the COVID-19 crisis.


A presentation will be given at the meeting which will expand on the areas within this covering report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development), which provided an overview of plans to develop an Economic Recovery Plan for the city, as a key part of the Council’s forward planning in response to the COVID-19 crisis.  The Plan would primarily be directed at government, businesses and investors and set out a clear and detailed narrative on how the city is well-placed to use its strong assets in order to re-establish economic momentum over the next few years.

 

The report was accompanied with a more detail presentation delivered by Mike Emmerich of Metro-Dynamics and John McCreadie of Ekosgen who had been commissioned to develop the Plan on behalf of the Council.

 

The key points and themes in the report and presentation included:-

 

·                The plan would focus on the three strategic aims identified in the Our Manchester Strategy and Our Manchester Industrial Strategy- People, Place and Prosperity, and on the priorities of inclusive growth and the foundational economy and our zero carbon commitments;

·                The plan would incorporate transformational schemes and key projects under these areas, which would form part of the Council’s ask to the Spending Review, highlighting how these could deliver new jobs, homes and leverage further investment.

·                The narrative and projects would form a strong proposition to government, providing a clear plan for the city to come out of recession as powerfully and as quickly as it could, by building on its long-term strengths;

·                It would reinforce the importance of regional cities such as Manchester as economic engines, particularly highlighting opportunities in the city centre, the Oxford Road Corridor, North Manchester and Airport City. 

·                There would also be an emphasis on working with distressed businesses as new opportunities emerged; youth skills and encouraging young people to stay in education; graduate re-skilling; apprenticeships schemes; and support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic residents and the over-50’s who had also been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19; and

·                Following feedback from the Committee, the narrative and key project proposals would be further developed for wider discussion. The document would then be finalised in advance of the Comprehensive Spending Review f for submission to Government.

 

The report would also be considered by the Executive at its meeting on 9 September 2020.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-

 

·                How would the Council seek to unlock funding from government so that the most disadvantaged residents in the city had the opportunities to access the opportunities that were envisaged as part of the Plan;

·                It was important to remember the role of district centres and their contribution to the city’s economy and there needed to be a continued focus on these centres going forward;

·                It would be essential to obtain the necessary funding from government to deliver the ambition of zero carbon retrofitting of the Council’s housing stock;

·                Clarification was sought as to who was the primary audience for the Plan and what was unique about Manchester’s Plan compared to other cities;

·                It was commented that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Economy Dashboard pdf icon PDF 911 KB

The Economy Dashboard is attached

 

The dashboard provides the most up to date metrics for 2020/21 to provide real time data on key aspects of the City's economic recovery.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the most recent Economy Dashboard for 2020

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:–

 

·                Could there be comparative data to other major/core cities against the indicators in the dashboard for future reports;

·                Was there any update on the extension of completion schedules in some developments and what impact this might have; and

·                It was suggested that for future updates connected metrics should be provided

 

The Research Manager noted the points made around comparative data to other major/core cities and agreed to include this in future dashboards where possible.  He also commented that on construction times these were at 90% productivity on sites and work was done to estimate how this affected the development pipeline. He agreed to look to include this in future updates if possible.

 

Decision

 

The Committee:-

 

(1)       Notes the dashboard; and

(2)       Supports the proposal to move to a more integrated approach to economic monitoring that responds to and better supports emerging priorities

33.

Housing Revenue Account Delivery model - Northwards ALMO Review pdf icon PDF 313 KB

Report of the Chief Executive attached

 

This report informs of the outcome of the recent “due diligence” review of the Arms Length Management Organisation (AMLO), Northwards Housing, undertaken by Campbell Tickell. The report provides a summary of the findings and goes on to propose to develop a service offer to tenants in light of the findings in order to move to a full consultation and “test of opinion” of tenants and leaseholders to the service being brought in-house. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive, which informed Members of the outcome of the recent “due diligence” review of the Arms Length Management Organisation (AMLO), Northwards Housing, undertaken by Campbell Tickell. The report provided a summary of the findings and a proposal to develop a service offer to tenants in light of the findings in order to move to a full consultation and “test of opinion” of tenants and leaseholders to the service being brought in-house.

 

The main points and themes of the report included:-

 

·                A summary of the rationale for the establishment of Northwards Housing Limited (NHL) in 2005 and its primary objective;

·                The current and predicted financial position of the Council’s HRA at the end of the 30-year business plan which was projecting a deficit in excess of £400m.

·                The methodology used by Campbell Tickle in undertaking the review of the HRA and Northwards ALMO;

·                The main findings from the review, including the current service baseline and challenges to be addressed;

·                A summary of the financial and non financial benefits of three options for consideration:-

·           Retention of the ALMO;

·           Return of the Housing service to MCC; or

·           Stock transfer;

·                An outline of the next steps in developing the tenants offer, which was a critical part of moving to the test of opinion ballot; and

·                An indicative timescale of the next steps should the Executive support the proposal to develop a tenants offer.

 

The report would also be considered by the Executive at its meeting on 9 September 2020.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-

 

·                Whilst acknowledging the financial savings returning the housing service to the Council would bring, It was not clear what the benefit to tenants would be by bringing the housing stock back into the Council or how they would receive a better service;

·                There was no mention in any of the proposals of how the repair contract would be managed;

·                It was questioned what the scope of the brief given to Campbell Tickle to undertake the survey was and what qualifications did they hold to undertake the survey;

·                There was serious concern that the proposed financial savings by bringing the housing service back into the Council would result in the loss of jobs to Manchester residents;

·                What would happen if the tenants did not agree with the proposal to return the housing stock to the Council;

·                It was commented that the savings difference between improving the existing service and removing it, which was reported to be £77m, equated to only £45 per property per year over the 30 year business plan and it was felt that this needed to be clear to tenants on the level of impact this saving would have;

·                Some Members were not convinced that the interests of the tenants living in Northwards managed properties were paramount in the proposals being put forward; and

·                It would be essential not to lose the best elements of the current service provided by Northwards if the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 409 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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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. 

 

Decisions

 

The Committee:-

 

(1)       Notes the report;

(2)       Agrees the Work Programme as submitted