Manchester City Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 4th March, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension. View directions

Contact: Lee Walker 

Media

Items
No. Item

16.

Appointment of a Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of Councillor Igbon, a nomination was sought for the Chair of the meeting. Councillor Appleby was nominated and seconded.

 

Decision

 

To appoint Councillor Appleby as Chair of this meeting.

 

17.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 246 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2020.

 

To receive the minutes of the Climate Change Subgroup meeting held on 23 January 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decisions

 

1. To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2020 as a correct record.

 

2. To receive the minutes of the Climate Change Subgroup meeting of the 23 January 2020.

 

18.

Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer

 

This report provides the Committee and Executive with the final version of the Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25 which has been developed by the Manchester Climate Change Agency on behalf of the Manchester Climate Change Partnership.

 

Appendix 1 - Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Review of Manchester's Climate Change Objectives and Targets:

http://www.manchesterclimate.com/targets-2020  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer that described that in November 2018, the Council’s Executive had agreed to establish a science-based carbon reduction target for Manchester, which required the city as a whole to adopt a carbon budget of 15 million tonnes of CO2 between 2018 and 2100. This would require a year-on-year reduction of at least 13%, emissions to be halved within five years, and lead to the city becoming zero carbon by 2038 at the latest.

 

In March 2019 the Council’s Executive endorsed the Manchester Zero Carbon Framework 2020-38, as the city’s outline approach to meeting its targets, as proposed by the Manchester Climate Change Partnership.

 

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

 

·         Introducing the Manchester Climate Change Framework 2020-25, Our strategy towards making Manchester a thriving, zero carbon, climate resilient city;

·         Describing the key principles and approach to developing the framework;

·         Noting that the Framework included ambitions regarding aviation CO2 emissions and indirect emissions;

·         Describing the four objectives that need to be met by 2025;

·         Describing the Our Vision for 2025;

·         Noting the consequence if the objectives were not met in 2020-25;

·         Detailing the urgent actions to be taken to meet our commitments;

·         An overview of the governance and partnership arrangements;

·         Describing how progress was to be measured and reported;

·         Information on how the framework would be reviewed to ensure it was current and up to date;

·         Information on how Manchester would work with other cities; and

·         A summary of the action plans to be taken by the Manchester Climate Change Partnership during 2020-25.

 

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

 

·         Welcoming the Framework and noting that it was every citizens’ responsibility, both locally, nationally and internationally to take actions to address climate change;

·         Welcoming the inclusion of aviation CO2 emissions and requesting an update on the Agency’s discussions with Manchester Airport in due course;

·         Welcoming recent announcements regarding the introduction of green buses in Manchester;

·         Calling upon the Government to recognise the importance of the climate emergency and fund local authorities appropriately to respond to the issue;

·         Noting that the Government had failed to respond to the Clean Air Plan submission;

·         In regard to new builds, consideration needed to be given to sourcing local materials; and

·         Welcoming the partnership approach and what was being done to engage with other sectors to build upon this model.

 

The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport stated that Manchester would continue to work with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to deliver cleaner, carbon free public transport. She stated that the Clean Air Plan had been submitted to the Government over ten months ago, however no response had been received to date. She described that despite this, Manchester would continue to work with partners to understand and deliver this important work and reiterated the call for appropriate funding from Government to scale  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 pdf icon PDF 218 KB

Report of Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer

 

Manchester City Council’s Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 sets out the actions that need to be delivered to ensure that the Council plays its full part in delivering the city’s zero carbon ambition. The Plan includes the actions which will achieve a 50% reduction in the Council’s direct CO2 emissions between 2020 and 2025, as well as the enabling and influencing actions which will support the city’s zero carbon ambitions.  

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer that described the actions which would achieve a 50% reduction in the Council’s direct CO2 emissions between 2020 and 2025, as well as the enabling and influencing actions which will support the city’s zero carbon ambitions.  

 

The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         The Plan made a number of specific commitments;

·         A summary of the estimated savings which would need to be achieved over the next 5 years;

·         The different roles the Council had including enabling and influencing, reducing direct emissions and reducing indirect emissions;

·         Noting that additional revenue and capital funding had been identified to respond to the 10 July 2019 Climate Emergency Declaration and to deliver the Plan;

·         Presenting the table of actions;

·         A summary of climate change research and insight;

·         A summary of the second Youth Climate Action Summit that took place on the17 January 2020; and

·         A Summary of policy and funding asks of Greater Manchester and government.

 

The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport commented that following feedback from the Committee, the plan had been updated to include saving metrics in tonnes, a quarterly update against the actions would be produced and an annual carbon savings report would be produced. She further thanked Members and Officers for their work in bringing this plan together.

 

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

 

·         Noting the risk to future European funding arrangements;

·         Local events and meetings on the issue of climate change should be organised across all wards to engage with local residents;

·         Welcoming the Plan as presented and noting the inclusion of metrics in tonnes;

·         Further information was sought on the Phase 2 Carbon Reduction Plan for the Council’s operational estate;

·         What was being done to understand the condition of housing stock within the Private Rented Sector;

·         The approach to planting new trees; and

·         Had there been a skills audit undertaken to ensure the correct work force was available or trained to deliver this agenda.

 

In response to the comments expressed regarding future European funding arrangements the Strategic Lead Policy and Partnerships informed the Committee that confirmation was still required regarding future access to Horizon 2020 funding. He described that work continued with other Core Cities and Euro cities to understand the options for future funding streams to support this activity. In response to the other comments he stated that the Private Rented Sector was a diverse housing sector and the proposed stock condition survey was proposed to provide a better understanding of this sector. In response to the issue of trees, he stated that the challenge would be to accurately record the numbers of new trees planted, especially if they were planted on private land. He further commented that the Council had a Tree Action Plan and that a Tree Opportunity Mapping assessment would inform the planting to ensure that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Taxi Licensing and Work across Greater Manchester pdf icon PDF 319 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Growth and Development

 

This report provides the Committee with information on the work undertaken in Manchester and across Greater Manchester to improve standards across Private Hire Taxis.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development) that provided the Committee with information on the work undertaken in Manchester and across Greater Manchester (GM) to improve standards across Private Hire Taxis.

 

The Executive Member for Neighbourhoods referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         Providing contextual and background information with key information regarding current issues affecting the regulation of Taxis and Private Hire Licences in the City;

·         Manchester’s processes and standards;

·         Information on the GM Minimum Licensing Standards;

·         The approach to improving Clean Air through vehicle emissions standards and the Clean Taxi Fund; and

·         How Manchester was working with GM colleagues and the trades to meet the challenges and strive to improve standards.

 

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

 

·         Supporting the intention for all GM standards to be raised to match that of Manchester;

·         What was the anticipated timescale for introducing a standard policy across GM;

·         Noting that the Manchester standards were designed to protect public safety;

·         Supported the call for a reform of national legislation to improve standards nationally;

·         What was the rationale for the different age limits for hackney vehicles compared to private hire vehicles and what funding was available for vehicle scrappage schemes;

·         The compliance team needed to focus their attention on areas around the airport following complaints of antisocial behaviour by non-Manchester licensed private hire drivers;

·         Were there delays in issuing licenses due to DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks;

·         Had consideration been given to using accredited garages as test centres for vehicles;

·         Could conditions be introduced to address vehicle idling.

 

The Licensing Unit Manager stated that she was aware of the issues regarding drivers’ behaviour around the airport area articulated by the local ward Member. She advised that she would continue to liaise with the local Neigbourhood Teams to seek to address the issues described. She stated that she would encourage residents observing any anti social behaviour to report the details to the home licensing authority as Manchester could not enforce against drivers from out of the area. The Chair asked if consideration could be given to having enforcement officers visible to deter drivers as residents may not feel comfortable in tackling drivers.

 

The Deputy Chair of the Licensing Committee stated that he would speak with the Members outside of the meeting to discuss specific concerns. 

 

The Licensing Unit Manager informed the Members that a consultation exercise on the proposals to standardise the conditions across GM would be undertaken in June 2020 and this would include proposals to address vehicle idling. She stated that Executive Members and lead officers across GM were in support of the proposals to raise standards, however a change in government policy was required to raise standards nationally. She further advised that DBS checks usually took between two and three weeks to be returned, but on occasion these could take longer and informed the Committee that this process was not in the control of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Private Rented Sector Strategy 2020-2025 pdf icon PDF 487 KB

Strategic Director Growth and Development

 

This report provides the committee with a progress update on the Market Rental Strategy and sets out the key themes for a draft Private Rented Sector (PRS) strategy for the city. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director Growth and Development) that provided the committee with a progress update on the Market Rental Strategy and sets out the key themes for a draft Private Rented Sector (PRS) strategy for the city.  

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         Providing a background and context of the private rented sector, both nationally and locally;

·         An overview of the interventions delivered via the Market Rental Strategy 2015-20;

·         Information on the approach to reviewing the strategy, including feedback from both renters and landlords;

·         An overview of the Private Rented Sector Strategy 2020-2025, noting that the refreshed strategy would continue to focus on the areas that were most

challenging, targeting resources to improve housing outcomes for some of our most vulnerable residents;

·         The approach to short term lettings;

·         Information on a range of Greater Manchester (GM) Initiatives;

·         Strategic themes;

·         The approach to delivering zero carbon and retrofitting properties;

·         The approach to fire safety; and

·         Next steps.

 

To supplement the report, the Committee received a presentation that further described the activities listed above. It further provided information on the place-based partnership work with Registered Providers and the One Manchester intervention rationale, that included using Affordable Housing Programme grant to acquire further homes from the private sector for refurbishment at an affordable rent (at Local Housing Allowance levels) and shared ownership options.

 

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

 

·         Had there been any update following the Government’s consultation on the use of Section 21 notices (Notice to Quit);

·         Supporting the work to address empty properties;

·         What work was being done to address short term lets;

·         What was the approach to signposting tenants to obtain advice and information on their rights;

·         How many improvement or compliance notices had been issued to private landlords outside of the designated Selective Licensing areas; and

·         What training was offered to private landlords.

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration stated that despite reference being made to Section 21s in the Queen’s speech, to date no further details had been made known and she was not confident that the Government had any intention to protect tenants in the PRS from unfair evictions.  She further advised that work was ongoing with the Communications Team to promote sources of advice and information for tenants in the PRS.

 

The Interim Director for Housing and Residential Growth informed the Members that the Private Rented Sector Strategy 2020-2025 would seek to address the issue of empty properties and short term lets.    

The Neighbourhood Manager, Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Housing stated that training had been delivered to landlords, that included information on property standards and the intention was to develop and deliver this training further. In response to the specific question regarding the number of notices issued outside of designated Selective Licensing areas, she stated this information would be circulated following the meeting.

 

Decision

 

To note the report.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Review of Selective Licensing Pilot areas pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) 

 

The Selective Licensing Pilot areas have now been in operation for three years in Crumpsall, over two years in Moss Side and almost two years in Moston and Old Moat. This report reviews all four schemes, comments on their effectiveness so far and makes a recommendation to consider further Selective Licensing schemes.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) that provided a review of the four Selective Licensing schemes, commenting on their effectiveness to date and made a recommendation to consider further schemes.

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         Providing an overview of selective licensing, the legislative framework and the criteria used for introducing these in locations;

·         Progress to date across all four Selective Licensing schemes in Manchester;

·         Information on enforcement activity, including those issued to address poor property conditions;

·         Analysis of the impact to date to address issues such as anti social behaviour and flytipping;

·         Providing case studies and feedback from residents;

·         Lessons learned; and

·         Considerations for further Selective Licensing Schemes.

 

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

 

·         Recognising the improvements that had been achieved in the designated selective licensing areas;

·         Was there enough capacity with the teams to undertake inspections and engage with landlords;

·         When would Selective Licensing be introduced in other areas of the city; and

·         Was the register of licensed properties publicly available, similar to that of the Houses in Multiple Occupation register.

 

The Neighbourhood Manager, Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Housing informed the Committee that lessons learnt from current schemes would be used to inform any future schemes. She stated that she had no concerns regarding the delivery of enforcement work, adding that compliance inspections were a means to identify issues with properties and to then take positive action on behalf of tenants. She added that the team were always seeking opportunities to engage with private landlords to raise standards within the PRS. She further stated that the register of licensed properties was publicly available.

 

The Head of Community Safety, Compliance and Enforcement explained that currently legislation allowed for 20% of privately rented homes in the local authority to be subject to Selective Licensing. She said that consideration could be given to further schemes beyond the next phase as long as this was kept within the 20% limit and would welcome Members comments and local knowledge on future proposed schemes. Adding that as part of the formal process, any proposed new areas would be subject to public consultation.

 

Decisions

 

To note the report.

 

23.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 261 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 commented that Members would be holding a Work Programming session in May to inform the Committee’s work programme for the new municipal year.

 

Decision

 

The Committee notes the report and approves the work programme, subject to the above comments.