Agenda and minutes
Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 4th September, 2019 2.00 pm
Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension
Contact: Lee Walker
Webcast: View the webcast
To consider any items which the Chair has agreed to have submitted as urgent.
The Chair introduced an item of urgent business following the discussions at the previous meeting where the Committee had agreed to establish a Subgroup to monitor Climate Change and the actions taken to mitigate this. The Chair invited Cllr Wright to address the Committee and detail both the objectives and key lines of enquiry of the Subgroup. The Committee were further informed of the proposed membership of the Subgroup and were invited to agree this.
The Chair further noted that following discussion at the previous meeting of the Great Ancoats Street Highways Scheme, and the provision of cycle lanes within the design she was disappointed with the response to the recommendation proposed by the Committee from the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport to the recommendation of the Committee. (See minute ref: NESC/19/24) The Committee voted unanimously in agreement with the Chair.
The Committee endorsed the following Objectives and Key Lines of Enquiry for the Climate Change Subgroup and agreed the membership:
1. Monitor progress of each point of the Climate Emergency motion carried by Manchester City Council on 10 July 2019.
2. Ensure the Manchester Climate Change Action Plan includes specific, measurable targets and review progress towards achieving them, on a quarterly basis.
3. Identify additional measures which could be put into place by MCC or partners to help reach the zero carbon target.
4. Update the Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee 4 times a year.
Key Lines of Enquiry
1. Obtain reports from all relevant Departments in relation to progress of the points in the climate emergency motion, ensuring that deadlines are met.
2. Obtain updates on progress of the production of the Climate Action Plan and regular updates once it is implemented.
3. Investigate initiatives which could be considered to help achieve zero carbon targets.
4. Obtain updates from each scrutiny committee to assess incorporation and progress of zero carbon actions in relation to each area of work.
5. Invite and obtain reports from relevant experts, including from Greater Manchester Combined Authority to assess existing actions and suggest new ones.
Councillors Flanagan, Jeavons, Kilpatrick, Lyons, Shilton Godwin, Whiston
and Wright (Chair)
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 17 July 2019.
To note the minutes of the Behaviour Change and Waste Task and Finish Group meeting of 24 July 2019.
1. To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 17 July 2019 as a correct record.
2. To note the minutes of the Behaviour Change and Waste Task and Finish Group meeting of 24 July 2019.
Report of the Director of Operations (Highways) and the Operations and Commissioning Director (Neighbourhoods)
The report outlines the work that both the Grounds Maintenance team and Public Realm team undertake to both maintain war monuments and manage memorials that are regularly placed around the area.
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Highways and the Operations and Commissioning Director (Neighbourhoods) that outlined the work that both the Grounds Maintenance team and Public Realm team undertook to both maintain war monuments and manage memorials that were placed around the city.
The Director of Operations (Highways)referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -
· The total number of War Monuments in Manchester, last confirmed in 2009 was over 550;
· Ownership of these fell across numerous stakeholders including churches, private ownership, Council, other public sector bodies and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission;
· Information on the programme of monument maintenance;
· Information and examples of activities undertaken by the Public Realm Team with friends’ groups to undertake improvements to War Monuments;
· Noting that the Public Realm Team would develop this further and work with the Neighbourhood Teams and Central Communications Team to develop a community engagement plan; and
· Information on memorial maintenance.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· Recognising the ultimate sacrifice made by many men and women from Manchester over the years to defend this country, and the importance of respecting and honouring their memory;
· Noting that many war memorials were now kept in storage, it would be better if options were considered to relocate these in schools, noting that this would facilitate children’s learning and also provide a more dignified setting for such memorials;
· Noting with disappointment that many of the war memorials that had been located in the Town Hall had been placed in storage for duration of the restoration works rather than placed on public display or in schools;
· An audit of all war memorials should be undertaken and a list compiled that detailed their location, ownership and state of repair. This audit should include details of relevant Friends Groups and once completed this should be shared with all Councillors;
· An Our Manchester Approach should be used to engage with residents to encourage them to actively maintain war memorials throughout the year;
· A specific strategy should be developed that established an agreed, consistent maintenance and improvement standard for war memorials, including specialist maintenance and repair programmes;
· Council applications for funding needed to be coordinated with community group applications;
· What support was offered to support groups, such as The Royal British Legion when funding was refused;
· What contact had been established with various Faith groups; and
· The report failed to highlight the many positive examples, such as the sensitive relocation of the cenotaph in St Peter’s Square, Phillips Park and the Battle of the Somme memorial located in Heaton Park.
The Head of Citywide Highways responded to the comments by stating that opportunities for relocating war memorials that were currently in storage to schools would be explored and he would discuss this further with colleagues from the Education Department. He informed the Members that ownership details were known but acknowledged that this was not comprehensive. He said that the team were passionate about ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
Report of the Director of Highways
The red and amber school crossings programme is well underway with 44 of the 81 sites being complete or planned to be complete by the end of August and the remainder due for completion by the end of March 2020.
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Highways that provided an update on the Red and Amber school crossings programme. The purpose of the works was to provide improvements at each school crossing so that their rating score was 50 points or less as per the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) "Census & Site Assessment" criteria that is the national standard.
The Director of Operations (Highways) referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -
· There were eighty-one school crossings in the programme that required improvements and they were located across most wards in the city.
· 44 of the 81 sites being completed or planned to be completed by the end of August 2019;
· The remainder due for completion by the end of March 2020; and
· The delivery of the improvements was through a new highways team comprising of a Project Manager, Construction Planner, Traffic Engineer, Quantity Surveyor, and Clerk of Works.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· Members questioned the accuracy of the information contained within the appendices, stating that some of the wards were listed incorrectly and noting that this had implications for notifications of works that were sent to Members;
· Questioning the use of the term ‘completed’ when referring to schemes;
· Thanking officers for their work to improve road safety at Park View School and that more needed to be done to promote and publicise with local resident the positive interventions undertaken by the Council to ensure the safety of school children;
· Communications between the Highways Department and the Education Department needed to be improved;
· Evaluation and assessment of improvements to road safety should be undertaken following completion of schemes and lessons learnt used to inform future schemes;
· Road safety around schools should be continually reviewed and assessed following completion of schemes;
· Clarification was sought regarding the 17 sites reported as being completed with a further 27 expected to be completed by the time of the committee meeting with a further 5 due by October and the remaining 32 sites being programmed for completion by March 2020; and
· How were schemes prioritised and priority should be given to those rated as Red.
The Head of Design, Commissioning & PMO informed the Committee that the report had been prepared in August to comply with reporting deadlines of the Committee and that the information that had been provided to compile the report from the Project Team. He also advised that the information relating to the wards in which the schools were located had been supplied by the Education Department.
In response to comments regarding specific schemes and whether or not these had been completed The Head of Design, Commissioning & PMO said that these would be checked and offered to undertake joint inspections with the Members. He described that some sites were more complex than others and needed the involvement of other agencies to deliver them and that works had been delivered over the school holiday ... view the full minutes text for item 36.
Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit
This is a monthly report, which includes the recommendations monitor, relevant key decisions, the Committee’s work programme and any items for information.
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 the report entitled ‘Allocations Policy Review’ that was scheduled for October is to be deferred to the November meeting.
A Member recommended that a representative from Biffa should be invited to the October meeting when the Committee would consider the report entitled ‘Waste, Recycling and Street Cleansing Update’.
A Member recommended that the Homelessness report scheduled for November should include information on winter preparations, including an update on A Bed Every Night.
A Member recommended that a specific item be included on November meeting that addressed the issue of the provision of motorbike parking facilities, rather than as an item within the report listed as ‘Highways Maintenance Programme’.
A Member recommended that the report listed for consideration at the December meeting entitled ‘Improving journeys to and from school’ include information on the activities to address vehicle idling outside and near schools, the promotion of active travel and the provision of school buses.
The Chair invited Members to consider any local community groups that they may wish to invite to contribute to any agenda items. The Chair requested that she be notified of any groups and invitations would be sent on behalf of the Committee.
The Committee notes the report and approves the work programme subject to the above amendments.