Agenda and draft minutes
Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020 2.00 pm
Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension. View directions
Contact: Lee Walker
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2020.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2020 as a correct record.
Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods)
This report provides Scrutiny 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. Further detail on specific issues will be available as required.
The Committee considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer that provided a brief 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 discussions were: -
· Expressing disappointment that the report made no specific reference to BAME citizens;
· Expressing disappointment following the decision to withdraw the 179 bus service, noting that this service was important for key workers and older residents and calling for an end to any further cuts to bus services;
· Calling upon the Chair to write to the Chief Executive of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to request an immediate review of this decision to withdraw the 179 bus service;
· What advice had been provided to schools to support social distancing as schools prepare for a return in September and requesting an update on the Active Travel Bids;
· Recognising the amount of work delivered by the Highways Department during the lockdown period, however commenting that communication with residents still appeared to be an issue;
· Requesting an update on the number of homeless people in temporary accommodation;
· What was the approach to supporting homeless people in district centres;
· Noting the pressures that would be placed on the Homeless Service following the end of furlough and the ending of the restriction on the use of Section 21 (Notice to Quit) by private landlords;
· Information on the number of licensed premises across the city and the number of staff employed in the Licensing and Out of Hours Team to understand the scale of the challenge;
· Commenting upon the positive and proactive approach taken by licensed premises; Council officers and Greater Manchester Police to ensure the easing of the lockdown measures was managed in a responsible and safe manner.
The Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods stated that the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BAME residents was acknowledged and the strategies and recovery approach had been reported to both the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Health Scrutiny Committee.
The Chair stated that she would consult with the Chair of the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee with the intention to writing a joint letter to the Chief Executive of TfGM to express the views of the Committee and to request a review of the decision to withdraw the 179 bus service.
The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport stated that she shared the disappointment of the Committee in regard to the withdrawal of bus services, recognising the importance of these for residents and providing an alternative to journeys by car. She described that this clearly highlighted the need for the introduction of a democratically controlled, regulated bus service.
The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport further stated that work with the Education Department continued around the issue of active travel in preparation for the schools returning in September. She advised that the local Neighbourhood Teams were supporting ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
Report of The Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer
This paper provides an update on the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan and the latest data and progress updates in relation to the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan.
The Committee considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer that provided an update on the Greater Manchester (GM) Clean Air Plan including the impact of COVID-19 (C19) on the timetable for its implementation. It also provided an update on progress to deliver the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 and annual direct emissions data for the 2019/20 financial year.
The main points and themes within the report included: -
· Information on the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan and the considerations given to the statutory public consultation on the GM Clean Air Plan to be undertaken as soon as reasonably practicable due to COVID-19;
· An update on Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan, noting the documents provided Annual Direct Emissions Report, Pathway to Zero Carbon 2038, Quarterly Quantitative Emissions Reporting, Quarterly Qualitative Reporting and the correspondence with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund; and
· Information on Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25 annual report that was due to be launched 21 July 2020.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· Noting the anniversary since the Council declared the Climate Emergency motion, what progress had been made against the fifteen specific asks of the motion;
· What progress had been made in retrofitting domestic properties across the range of tenures;
· How would the Local Plan promote the mitigation of climate change and support the stated ambitions to reduce carbon emissions;
· An update was sought on the number of carbon / environmental themed engagement events held across the city;
· An assurance was sought that any consultation on proposals for a Clean Air Plan for Greater Manchester was inclusive and captured the voice of young people;
· Welcoming the introduction of 27 electric refuse vehicles;
· Was there any information on the proposals by Manchester Metropolitan University to distribute mobile air quality monitoring stations; and
· Noting the disappointing response from The Greater Manchester Pension Fund and reiterating the need for them to disinvest from fossil fuels as soon as possible to support the ambitions of Greater Manchester to address climate change.
The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport addressed the Council motion and described that progress against each of the “asks” which had also been provided within the report submitted for consideration by the Committee. She detailed which actions were either completed or partially completed and described the reasons for this including those which had been impacted by COVID-19. She further stated that she shared the disappointment and frustration of Members in regard to the response from The Greater Manchester Pension Fund. She said the Pension Fund needed to set out a clear pathway so as to address climate change in line with the ambitions of the region, and she would work with her colleagues from across Greater Manchester to continue to lobby on this important issue.
The Strategic Lead Policy and Partnerships informed the Members that work had been commissioned to understand the cost of retrofitting Northwards properties, and this analysis was being used as the ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
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.
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.
The Chair noted that the Members would be meeting in private following this meeting to discuss the work programme.
To note the report.