Agenda and minutes
Economy Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 24th June, 2021 2.00 pm
Venue: Council Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension. View directions
Contact: Michael Williamson
Note: This meeting can be viewed on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/561352286
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 27 May 2021
The minutes of the meeting held on 27 May 2021 were approved as a correct record
Report of the Interim Director of Housing & Residential Growth
This report sets the context and outlines the process for developing a new Housing Strategy for Manchester. The Strategy aims to bring together the previous Housing Strategy (2015 - 21) and the Residential Growth Strategy (2015 - 25) into a single, holistic document.
The Committee considered the report of the Interim Director of Housing and Residential Growth that provided a background and policy context, noting that the 2021 Housing Strategy would bring together two different historic documents into a single, holistic Strategy, namely the Housing Strategy (2015-21) and the Residential Growth Strategy (2015-25). The report described the process for developing a new Housing Strategy for Manchester.
The main points and themes within the report and accompanying presentation were: -
· Increasing housing supply across all tenures;
· Ensuring housing was affordable and accessible to those who needed it the most;
· Working in mixed tenure neighbourhoods and improving quality and management in the private rented sector; and
· Increasing the sustainability, safety and efficiency of new and existing stock.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:-
· Reassurance was sought that the city’s population growth trajectory had been modelled on different scenarios;
· How had the projected 25% increase in people living in temporary accommodation been derived and what was being done to address this;
· Clarification was sought on what would be the source of heating for all newly built homes in relation to tackling climate change;
· Purpose built student accommodation would need to be affordable to reduce the use of HMO’s;
· How where areas for selective licensing assessed and determined;
· Was Manchester’s definition of affordability linked to Local Housing Allowance rates and could this be incorporated into the Strategy;
· Had any work been undertaken on analysing the expenditure on temporary accommodation against the cost of providing affordable social housing;
· Had any work been undertaken in addressing the risks of over reliance on the development market
· The affordability of city centre living was questioned for families who earned the Manchester average yearly income;
· How were the housing needs of different communities across the city identified;
· What was the evidence for the lower demand of affordable private rental properties;
· How much further could the Council go with its Selective Licensing pilot before it reached the maximum 25% limit of all PRS stock and what was being done to extend this limit;
· It was felt that the cost of renting in Purpose Built Student Accommodation priced out local students and needed to be at a more affordable price point;
· More needed to be done to prevent private sector landlords from banking properties for HMO usage;
· It was felt that more needed to be done with Private Sector Landlords, who provided accommodation to students, insofar as they should be required to pay business rates on these properties as local communities were having to pay Council Tax for services that they did not necessarily use.
· What was being done to ensure developer viability assessments were a true reflection on the level of affordable housing that could be delivered on a site;
· What housing support was provided to those seeking asylum;
· Could the Committee have sight of the audit on temporary accommodation before the strategy came back for further scrutiny;
· What was being done to lobby government for increased ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
Report of the Director of Inclusive Economy attached
This report sets out the approach to refreshing the strategy, taking into account the challenging circumstances created in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the wider strategic and policy context in the city. It introduces the themes which are likely to be the main focuses of the new strategy, the work that will need to be undertaken to fully understand and develop them, key issues and dependencies and an indicative timeline for delivery.
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Inclusive Economy that sets out the approach to refreshing the strategy, taking into account the challenging circumstances created in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the wider strategic and policy context in the city. It introduced the themes which were likely to be the main focuses of the new strategy, the work that would need to be undertaken to fully understand and develop them, key issues and dependencies and an indicative timeline for delivery.
The main points and themes within the report included: -
· An explanation of the background to the Work and Skills Strategy 2016 – 2021 and its relationship to the Our Manchester Strategy;
· The strategic context with particular reference to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the lasting effects were still unknown and would take many years to become understood;
· Acknowledging that the digitisation on the economy and labour market was likely to accelerate due to the impact of the COVID-19;
· The implications of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit) and central Government policies;
· The context of how the Strategy could contribute to the Council declaring a climate emergency and its aim to be zero carbon by 2038;
· Work to address inequalities experienced across the city;
· Describing the pipeline of investment planned for Manchester;
· The policy context for the refresh of the Manchester’s Work and Skills Strategy and the proposed approach, noting the SWOT analysis; and
· Next steps.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· How did this Strategy interact with the Council’s Social Value policy;
· Members advocated the proposal of the co-production and co-design of the Strategy;
· How were priority sectors identified and were these aligned with those identified by GMCA;
· How were SMEs being linked with opportunities from the “Planned for Jobs” scheme;
· Assurance was sought that various scenario planning was taking place in connection to population growth and work and skills shortages in the city;
· It would be good to see the Living Wage be more prominent in the Strategy;
· How could the Council ensure stakeholders did what was expected to make the Strategy successful;
· It was felt that Elected Members should be included in the consultation of the Strategy;
· More information was requested on the GM Independent Inequalities Commission, centred around timescales and how this was being developed;
· It was suggested that more work needed to be done with employers within the hospitality sector to make the employment opportunities more attractive
The Director of Inclusive Economy advised that the Strategy and the Social Value Strategy had close links. The work of the Strategy and the Work and Skills team played a large part in delivering the social value outputs and outcomes that related to work and skills. The refreshed Social Value strategy also had an enhanced focus on employment and some of the groups who were not previously sighted as benefitting from Social Value now had been. She also advised ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
Report of the Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastructure and Director of Inclusive Economy attached
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
The Committee considered the report of the Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastructure that provided 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.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussion were:-
· Was there any information on what office space businesses were going to require with the anticipated lifting of COVID restrictions as it was recognised that employees would not likely be returning to working in an office every day of the week; and
· Was there any levers to ensuring that the appointed contractor for the regeneration of North Manchester General Hospital sub contracted out work to local businesses in the north Manchester area in the first instance
The Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastructure advised that a lot of small to medium sized businesses were keen for its staff to return to the office but a number of the large agency offices were delaying a return of it staff until the Autumn. Larger businesses were also looking for more flexible work spaces and at present there was an increased demand for collaborative spaces compared to traditional office spaces. She advised it was too soon to say what would happen come autumn and only as the vaccination programme rolled out and restrictions were lifted would there be a representative picture of what was required.
The Director of Inclusive Growth advised that a Social Value Framework for North Manchester was to be established which all parties, including MFT, the Mental Health Trust and FEC would sign up to in order to focus on a delivery of a consistent set of delivery outcomes. She advised that an update on this could be included in the next update on either North Manchester Hospital or Victoria North.
The Committee notes the report
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 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 Committee note the report.