Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Ante Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Contact: Lee Walker 

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Items
No. Item

44.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

 

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2018 as a correct record.

 

45.

Highways Reactive Maintenance pdf icon PDF 929 KB

Report of the Director of Operations (Highways)

 

This paper seeks to inform the Scrutiny Committee on the Highways Reactive Maintenance Programme. The report includes information on Pothole repairs and Drainage and gullies clearance and repairs.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Operations (Highways) that provided Members with information on the Highways Reactive Maintenance Programme.

 

Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         An update on the process to comply with the statutory duty to maintain the highway network under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980;

·         Information on highway safety inspections of roads and footways in order to identify all defects likely to create danger or serious inconvenience to users of the network or the wider community;

·         Information on the materials used to undertake repairs;

·         Utility works and how these were planned;

·         Cyclical Drainage Programme;

·         Performance Monitoring;

·         Customer satisfaction survey results and comparisons to the national average, and

·         The new code of practice “Well Managed Highway Infrastructure”

 

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

 

·         Was there a schedule for the inspection of gullies;

·         Was there enough staff to undertake inspections;

·         Whilst noting the reported 90% of highways repairs were completed to the agreed standard what happened to the remaining 10%;

·         What action was taken against Utility Companies if the repair work to the highway was not satisfactory;

·         What was the timescale for repairs to potholes, commenting that this often took a long time following the initial inspection;

·         Noting that Members received a lot of enquiries from residents regarding the time scale for repair works it would be beneficial if the schedule for repairs was shared with Members;

·         How was the standard of pothole repairs monitored;

·         How were ‘hot spots areas’ dealt with in terms of repairs and clearing of gullies and commenting that the timing of repair work had to be considered to ensure gullies could be accessed;

·         Welcoming the production of the monthly ward performance data and requested that this be shared via ward coordination;

·         Major arterial roads should be prioritised for highways repairs over side streets;

·         The use of contractors and the arrangements for paying them for the work they undertook; and

·         Was the cleaning of gullies coordinated with the leaf sweeping schedule to maximise efficiencies and impact.

 

The Head of Citywide Highways informed the Committee that the cleansing of gullies was a city wide programme that had commenced in September of this year. He said that the report provided a snap shot of those wards that had been visited to date. He said all wards would be visited as part of this programme and the schedule for this activity would be shared with the Members. He further commented that the team worked closely with colleagues in the leaf sweeping teams to coordinate this activity.

 

In response to the issue of pothole repairs he said that there was a Service Level Agreement for these to be undertaken, however acknowledged that there were times this was not met due to the backlog of repairs. He described that contractors were paid for the work they undertook. He said that all works were recorded and photographed and the work was checked  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Highways and the flow of traffic in the City Centre pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Report of the Director of Operations (Highways)

 

This paper seeks to inform the Scrutiny Committee on Highways and the Flo of Traffic in the City Centre. The report includes information on pavement and footpath conditions, and information on how planned maintenance work is communicated with local residents and businesses.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Director of Operations (Highways) that provided Members with information on Highways and the flow of traffic in the City Centre.

 

Members expressed their dissatisfaction with the content of the report and commented that it was not suitable to scrutinise. The Chair recommended that a report be submitted to the December meeting that provided the Committee with information on how traffic flow was monitored, managed and facilitated across the city. The Committee supported this recommendation.

 

Decision

 

The Committee recommend that this report be withdrawn from the agenda and a report be submitted to the December meeting that provides information on how traffic flow is monitored, managed and facilitated across the city.

 

47.

Improving Road Safety around Schools pdf icon PDF 305 KB

Report of the Operational Director of Highways

 

Members of the Scrutiny Committee requested to receive an update to the report that had been considered by the Committee at the meeting of 18 July 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Operational Director of Highways that provided Members with an update to the report that was considered by the Committee at their July meeting.

 

The Chair opened this item by apologising to the residents of Manchester that this item continued to be brought back to the Committee. She explained that this was an important subject to ensure the safety of all children across the city, and to date the Committee had not been satisfied with the information that they had been provided with.

 

Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         A response to the inaccuracies and comments sent by Members following the July meeting and whether these have these been implemented in the plans;

·         A full list of work programmed and the associated timescales in phase 1; and

·         Information on what consultation with members, schools and residents would happen and the time frame for this activity.

 

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

 

·         Members expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of consultation with schools regarding any proposals;

·         Dissatisfaction with the lack of responses to enquires raised with Officers when seeking clarification on proposed schemes;

·         Questions were raised as to how policy and assessment criteria had been applied, commenting that there was no confidence that these had been applied correctly or consistently;

·         Frustration that this work still had yet to be implemented, commenting that the safety of children needed to be prioritised;

·         There appeared to be a failure in communications between the Highways Department and the Education Department that had contributed to delays in delivering road safety improvements;

·         A question was raised as to why one school had been identified for works, commenting that it was not felt to be appropriate.

 

The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport said that she took full responsibility for the lateness of the report and for it not coming back to the September meeting, and accepted that the Highways Department needed to work more closely with the Education Department. She said that a Project Lead had been appointed to oversee this work and the Council was fully committed to improving the safety of our school children as they travelled to and from school. She said she remained committed to delivering the schemes identified by the end of January 2019.

 

The Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure said that whilst ultimately this was a highways project he remained committed to working with his Executive colleague to successfully implement these improvements.

 

The Director of Operations (Highways) responded to a request from a Member for timely and regular updates on the progress of this programme by offering to provide a weekly update to Members and gave an assurance that this work would be progressed.

 

Having discussed the item Members stated that they were not confident with the process and moved a recommendation that the Chair raise the concerns expressed by the Committee with the Leader and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

Sprinkler and fire safety works update pdf icon PDF 337 KB

Further to the printed published agenda issued 30 October 2018 attached is a revised report front sheet that details the recommendations that Executive will be asked to approve at their meeting of the 14 November 2018.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced this item of business by stating that the Committee condemned the recent deplorable actions of individuals on bonfire night. She said the Committee extended their solidarity and condolences to the victims and families of the Grenfell tragedy. This sentiment was supported by the Committee and all those present. 

The Committee then considered the report of the Strategic Director (Development) that described that following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Executive had considered reports at their June, September and December 2017 meetings. The Committee was advised that theCouncil had committed to installing sprinklers, subject to surveys, consultation and receiving updated costs, in all Council-owned tower blocks as well as to implement fire safety works recommended by Type 4 Fire Risk Assessments.

 

This report provided an update and recommended additional approvals in relation to the 24 Council-owned tower blocks managed byNorthwards Housing, 11 tower blocks managed by two PFI-funded contractors and Woodward Court managed by homelessness.

 

It did not cover in detail those blocks managed by PFI contractors in Miles Platting (7) and Brunswick (4), nor did it include privately owned blocks.

 

The Committee had been invited to comment on the report prior to its submission to the Executive on 14 November 2018.

 

Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         The rationale for the decision previously taken by the Executive at their meeting of 13 December 2017;

·         A description of the budget approval, procurement, technical approval and risk assessments; and

·         Information on the consultation exercise undertaken by Northwards Housing.

 

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

 

·         Welcoming the comprehensive report, noting that it demonstrated the ‘Our Manchester’ approach to engaging with residents;

·         Every effort should be taken to challenge the myths around sprinkler systems and encourage all residents to have sprinklers installed in their flats, including the use of communal spaces, social media, resident’s groups and one to one discussions with residents and experienced firefighters;

·         Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) needed to be undertaken, especially with the increase in second hand sales of appliances;

·         What was being done to influence owners of private blocks to introduce safety measures and reassure the tenants;

·         Would a sprinkler system be installed if a tenant who refused one subsequently moved out; and

·         What impact would the installation of sprinklers have on insurance premiums.

 

The Chief Executive Northwards Housing stated that if a tenant was to move out of a property a sprinkler system would be installed prior to the property being re-let. He said that he respected the decisions taken by individuals not to have a sprinkler system installed but wanted to ensure that this was an informed decision. He said that Manchester was pioneering in the approach taken to this issue.

 

The Greater Manchester Fire Service Officer commented that a lot of myths surrounded the issue of sprinkler systems, in particular the concern around faulty activation. She commented that the occurrence of such events were very  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Playing Our Full Part on Climate Change - Updating Manchester's Commitment pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive

 

This report provides the Committee and Executive with an update on the recent work undertaken by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research which recommends the establishment of a carbon budget for Manchester. Adopting this carbon budget would mean committing the city to a target of becoming zero carbon by 2038 rather the existing 2050 target. The Manchester Climate Change Board have developed an outline proposal setting out how all partners and residents in the city might play their full part in achieving this ambition and this is included as an appendix to this report. 

 

This is an Executive report. Members are invited to comment prior to submission to Executive.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Deputy Chief Executive that provided Members with an update on the recent work undertaken by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research which recommended the establishment of a carbon budget for Manchester. Adopting this carbon budget would mean committing the city to a target of becoming zero carbon by 2038 rather the existing 2050 target. The report detailed that the Manchester Climate Change Board had developed an outline proposal setting out how all partners and residents in the city might play their full part in achieving this ambition and this was provided with the report. 

 

The Committee had been invited to comment on the report prior to its submission to the Executive on 14 November 2018.

 

The Programme Director Manchester Climate Change Agency referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         Information demonstrating the impact of global warming and the local response to this;

·         Information on the work of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research at the University of Manchester and its recommendations that the city adopt a carbon budget and emit only a maximum of 15 million tonnes CO2 for the period 2018-2100; commit to a 13% year-on-year reduction in citywide CO2 emissions from 2018 to achieve this carbon budget; and for the city to be zero carbon by 2038;

·         The role of the Council in both leadership and influencing partners across the city; and

·         Anticipated timescale for work.

 

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

 

·         Support for the roll out of Carbon Literacy Training to schools and registered provider residents;

·         More detail was required regarding the plans and timescales to deliver this programme;

·         Aviation emissions and Manchester Airport needed to be addressed within the climate change action plan;

·         The impact on health and the wider determinants of health needed to be addressed such as fuel poverty and what options were available for retrofitting homes so they were energy efficient; and

·         How could the Council use its existing policies, such as planning to influence climate change and mitigate against extreme weather conditions.

 

The Programme Director Manchester Climate Change Agency informed the Committee that Manchester would be one of a small number of cities across the world to commit to becoming a zero carbon city in line with the Paris Agreement. He stated that the health and wellbeing benefits to citizens of this activity were also understood noting that significant savings could be realised to the health economy through, for example better insulation of homes. He also referred to the economic opportunities that this presented to the city which were significant as green technology businesses could be attracted into the city.

 

In response to the comments regarding how this ambitious programme would be delivered he advised that this report presented a platform for the development of a more detailed draft plan that would be reported to the Committee in February 2019, with the target of launching the full plan in April  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit

 

This report includes details of the key decisions due to be taken that are relevant to the Committee’s remit as well as 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 agree.

Additional documents:

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 informed the Committee that she would be meeting with Officers at the rise of this meeting to discuss the Work Programme and agree the items that were to be scheduled.

 

Decisions

 

The Committee notes the report and approve the work programme.