Agenda and minutes
Economy Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 8th October, 2020 10.00 am
Venue: Virtual Meeting: Webcast at - https://manchester.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/485342
Contact: Michael Williamson
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 3 September 2020
The Minutes of the meeting held on 3 September 2020 were approved as a correct record.
Report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing attached
This report covers the proposed response to the Planning White Paper, published for consultation by the Government which closes on 29 October 2020. It also includes the response to the Government consultation on “changes to the current planning system” which required a response by 1 October. The report also covers the recent changes to the permitted development rights regime, highlighting some of the potential challenges the new rights may bring to the city and concludes with an update on the emerging Local Plan for Manchester and the next steps for the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF).
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing, which informed Members of the proposed response to the Planning White Paper, published for consultation by the Government which closed on 29 October 2020. It also included the response to the Government consultation on “changes to the current planning system” which required a response by 1 October. The report also covered the recent changes to the permitted development rights regime, and concluded with an update on the emerging Local Plan for Manchester and the next steps for the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF).
The main points and themes of the report included:-
· A summary of the proposed planning reforms and the significant challenges these would bring to how the Council used the planning system to enable and deliver key outcomes for the city including economic and sustainable growth, jobs and new homes;
· An overview of the key matters for consideration in the Council’s response to questions posed in the Planning White Paper;
· A summary of the proposed changes to permitted development and use class changes and how this might impact on manage the quantum and mix of development in key parts of the City;
· The next steps associated with the development of the Local Plan, which included consultation on a Scoping Report for the Integrated Assessment; analysis and further commissioning of key elements of an evidence base and development of a draft Local Plan;
· The GMSF was reaching an important stage with a final publication version of the plan due to be consulted on from early November until 31 December 2020; and
· The plan was then intended to be submitted for examination in summer 2021, with the Council’s Executive being considering a report on 14 October 2020 recommending approval of the Publication consultation.
Some of the key pints that arose from the Committees discussions were:-
· There was concern that the proposals within the Government White Paper would remove the ability for local people to shape the place in where they lived;
· The proposals failed to address the issues Manchester faced in relation to planning and they would not help Manchester deliver its affordable homes strategy;
· There was concern in relation to the proposal to increase the further digitalisation of both local plan and development management processes;
· There was also concern about the proposal to introduce a fast-track for beauty through changes to national policy and legislation;
· There was concern that proposals to set some policy targets at a national level rather than at a local level could have a negative impact on Manchester to deliver its net zero carbon development target by 2028;
· Further clarity was needed on what the prior approval process proposals in regards to permitted development would mean;
· The driving principle of the Council’s response to the White Paper should be centred around the fact that the proposals would diminish the opportunity for locally distinctive policies that reflect specific local conditions and drive the Council’s priorities;
· There was a lack of detail in ... view the full minutes text for item 36.
Report of the Strategic Lead Policy and Partnership and Director of Culture attached
This report provides an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the City’s cultural sector. It outlines access to local and national financial support for the sector and the gaps identified in the assistance needed for the cultural economy.
The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Lead Policy and Partnerships and Director of Culture (Home Manchester), which provided an overview of the impact of COVID on the City’s cultural sector, outlined access to local and national financial support for the sector and the gaps identified in the assistance needed for the cultural economy.
Key points and themes in the report included:-
· The sector faced unprecedented challenges as one of the last industries able to reopen on a financially viable basis;
· The industry was reliant on a highly-skilled, flexible but vulnerable freelance workforce that had been severely impacted by a loss of business;
· A Manchester Culture Recovery Plan had been developed with a wide range of partners and stakeholders and a COVID Culture Recovery Board had been established to lead the city’s response to the pandemic and aid the sector’s recovery;
· Cultural partners had responded creatively to the crisis with many seeking new and digital solutions to engaging audiences and participants;
· There were a number of initiatives to assist businesses, support freelancers and deliver reopening strategies at a local and national level;
· Emergency assistance had been made available by Arts Council England and the Government had put in place a Culture Sector Recovery Fund for England; and
· There was evidence that the current level and means of support available would be insufficient to sustain the sector for the duration of the continued period business disruption.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-
· The Cultural sector had a foundational importance to the future of the city in its ability to shape the identity of Manchester and ability to attract and retain people;
· It was pleasing to see in the request for support from Government that this included support for individual freelancers and sub-contractors;
· Without significant government support to sustain this industry there was a real risk that the city would not be able to sustain the industry;
· It needed to recognised by Government that Manchester’s cultural sector had been struggling pre-COVID due to the years of cuts in public funding streams and the redirection of funding to schemes in London;
· Inclusivity of the sector need to be looked at as part of the recovery plan;
· What consideration, if any, had been given to the use of empty assets within the sector;
· There was concern about the loss of smaller cultural venues that had happened during COVID and what landscape was needed to be created to allow new venues to emerge and have a chance of surviving;
· Consideration needed to be given to broadcast media, including radio, as part of the recovery plan;
· Was there any thinking around how greater security and stability could be afforded to those freelance jobs within the cultural sector; and
· Government needed to recognise the high quality provision of skills and training that Manchester provided for those wanting to or already working in the cultural sector.
The Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure advised that it was paramount that Manchester ... view the full minutes text for item 37.
Report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development) attached
This report 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.
Further to Minute ESC/20/30 (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 key points and themes 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, aviation and universities;
· 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.
The Leader also provided a verbal update on the most recent developments since the publication of the report.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-
· Had there been an increase in footfall in some areas compared to others and was this as a result of displacement from the city centre;
· Was there any more detail on Kickstart and Jets and how these programmes would integrate;
· Was there any information on whether Manchester or Greater Manchester was going to apply to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund and if so what would be applied for.
The Director of Inclusive Economy advised Kickstart was not going to be locally designed or delivered but work had been undertaken with GM colleagues on what our approach and outcomes might be. The Council was committed to providing at least 30 Kickstart opportunities across the Council and where possible lining those up where there was turnover or apprenticeship vacancies. The Council had also started conversations with businesses around the use of Kickstart but further work was needed on this. Jet was a re-announcement of the chancellors Summer Statement for additional funding for those furthest from the labour market which wold result in an additional £13m across GM delivered through the working well programme.
The Committee was advised that footfall increases likely related to the number of students that had returned to the city in Fallowfield, Withington and Rusholme wards.
The Strategic Lead –Policy and Partnership advised that Manchester intended to join the GM consortium bid for the Public Sector Decarbonisation fund with a bid being submitted later in the year. A further update could be provided to Members closer to the time if required.
The Committee notes the update.
Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit attached
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.
(1) Notes the report;
(2) Agrees the Work Programme as submitted