Manchester City Council

Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 17th July, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Contact: Lee Walker 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

7.

Urgent Business

To consider any items which the Chair has agreed to have submitted as urgent.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the highways improvements to Great Ancoats Street as an item of urgent business, stating that she had been approached by a number of Members and concerned residents regarding the scheme and the provision of cycle lanes within the design.

 

Chris Paul addressed the Committee and stated that in his view the scheme was not in keeping with the Our Manchester Approach and was contrary to existing policies regarding emission reductions, climate change, health and the promotion of alternative transport. He stated that he felt that the design was constructed around the need of car users and was not logical. He stated that other countries had successfully delivered cycling schemes in consultation with communities and all road users and provided examples of where this had been achieved. He stated that he believed that the consultation had been unsatisfactory and more citizen involvement and participation in the design of such schemes was required.

 

The Committee then heard from Callum, Climate Emergency Manchester. He said that the scheme would maintain the current levels of car use and was not appropriate and contrary to the Climate Emergency that had been recently adopted by Council.

 

A Member commented that he welcomed the spend and investment in the highways and the improvements to the footpaths, green planting and road crossings that had been included in the design, however he expressed concern on the level of consultation with local residents.

 

A Member commented that the scheme should be reviewed in light of the Climate Emergency that had been adopted by Council at their meeting of 10 July 2019.

The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport responded by stating that she recognised that people did care about safe cycling and made reference to the significant investment of new cycling infrastructure across the city and in particular in the area itself. She commented that the scheme had started to be delivered, stating that Great Ancoats was an extremely busy route and the scheme would deliver twelve new safer crossings for pedestrians and cyclists and deliver an improved and safer connectivity to the city centre for residents in Ancoats. In addition, the scheme would deliver physical improvements, such as wider pavements, tree planting and reduced noise from vehicles as a result of new materials used in the highway.

 

She stated that the existing cycle lane was a line of paint 250m long and inefficient

and the two parallel cycle corridors was an enhanced offer to cyclists. She also said

that Great Ancoats Street is not on the Bee Network map.

 

In regard to the issue of consultations she stated that she always sought opportunities to review and improve how these were delivered, commenting on the recent consultation exercise in relation to the Chorlton cycle route where additional events had been facilitated, walkabouts with Councillors and businesses organised and the consultation period extended.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Director of Operations Highways confirmed that the funding deadlines or alternative funding did not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2019 .

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2019 were submitted for approval as an accurate record of the meeting. Councillor Razaq requested that his apologies be recorded.

 

Decisions

 

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2019 as a correct record subject to the above amendment.

 

9.

Manchester Climate Change Annual Progress Report pdf icon PDF 410 KB

Report of the Strategic Lead Policy and Partnerships, Head of Local Planning and Infrastructure and Manchester Climate Change Agency

 

This report provides information on the progress that has been made towards the delivery of the existing 2020 targets for the City of Manchester as a whole and Manchester City Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Lead Policy and Partnerships

Head of Local Planning and Infrastructure and the Manchester Climate Change Agency that provided an update on the progress that had been made towards the delivery of the existing 2020 targets for the City of Manchester as a whole and Manchester City Council.

 

The Strategic Lead Policy and Strategy referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         An update on the activity which was underway to develop new plans to ensure progress towards the new zero carbon 2038 targets;

·         Information on the activity of the Manchester Climate Change Agency;

·         An update on citywide progress to date, noting that to date the city has achieved a 5% reduction in carbon emissions since 2017, versus the 13% target;

?     An update on Manchester City Council’s emissions noting that the Council had committed to reducing its direct carbon emissions by 41% by 2019/2020 from a 2009/10 baseline;

?     Data for the 2018/19 financial year showed that the Council’s direct emissions had reduced by 48.1% since the 2009/10 baseline meaning that the 41% target had been achieved and surpassed a year ahead of schedule; and

·         New plans for the Council and the City would be published in March 2020, noting that the Council would need to play a critical role in supporting the city as a whole to reach its zero carbon ambitions through a variety of roles and responsibilities.

 

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

 

·         Noting the importance of this issue and recognising that the Council had declared a climate emergency;

·         Would Council plans and policies be reviewed to take into consideration the Climate Emergency motion;

·         Noting that some reductions could be attributed to external factors that had been imposed on the Council as a result of budget cuts; such as the loss of staff and subsequent building closures;

·         Why was crowd funding used to finance the Youth Board within Manchester Climate Agency;

·         Aviation emissions could not be ignored and more needed to be done to encourage journeys to and from the airport via public transport; 

·         More alternative transport should be provided across the city, noting that the tram service did not cover all of the city;

·         An explanation was sought as to the reported Red, Amber and Green ratings;

·         The Committee should establish a Subgroup to consider the issue of Climate Change on a regular basis in addition to regular reports to the Committee;

·         The importance of engaging local residents in this agenda and to support this all Neighbourhood Officers should receive carbon literacy training as soon as possible; and

·         The need to engage the business sector in this important area of work to deliver the ambitious targets.

 

The Strategic Lead Policy and Strategy said that policies and the plan would be reviewed in consideration of the recent Council motion including procurement policy. In regard to the Red, Amber and Green ratings that were referred to in Appendix 3 of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Mandatory HMO Licensing update pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods

 

This report provides the Committee with an update on Mandatory Houses in Multiple Occupation Licensing.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods that provided information on the approach taken to deliver the extension to mandatory licensing nine months after the scheme had been implemented.

 

The Strategic Lead, Community Safety, Compliance and Enforcement referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         Providing a background to Mandatory Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licensing, noting that in 2018 legislation was amended and now required properties let to 5 or more people from 2 or more households who share amenities (kitchens and bathrooms) to be licensed by the local authority;

·         Information on the work to identify Licensable HMO properties;

·         Engagement with Landlords;

·         The impact of Landlord Licensing, noting that Pre-licensing inspections were carried out before a licence was issued and compliance inspections were then undertaken during the course of the licence to determine whether the conditions of the licence were continuing to be adhered to; and

·         Noting that the Housing Compliance and Enforcement Team were working closely with Strategic Housing and the Executive Member for Housing to refresh the Private Rented Sector Strategy.

 

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

 

·         Were there any intentions to extend Selective Licensing to other areas of the city;

·         Were temporary accommodation properties that were HMO’s inspected and subject to the same conditions;

·         What was being done to improve the number of properties identified as HMO’s, noting the number of visits undertaken compared to the numbers identified;

·         Had the benefits that Selective Licensing was intended to bring to neighbourhoods been realised;

·         How could residents report a suspected HMO; and

·         Could the number of licensed HMO’s be provided by ward.

 

The Strategic Lead, Community Safety, Compliance and Enforcement commented that a further, detailed report on Selective Licensing was scheduled for consideration by the Committee at their February meeting. She advised that this report would include the detailed specific information that had been requested, however she commented that initial observations from the Crumpsall pilot, which has been running the longest, were that the Selective Licensing scheme appears to have been successful with positive feedback from residents, the local neighbourhood team and Members, noting however that Selective Licensing is only one aspect of neighbourhood management. She advised that consideration would be given as to where any future focused schemes would be implemented.

 

The Strategic Lead, Community Safety, Compliance and Enforcement stated that information on the number of all licensed HMO properties was available and would be circulated to Members.

 

The Neighbourhood Manager, Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Housing informed the Committee that where temporary accommodation properties met the criteria for licensing as an HMO they were subject to HMO conditions and property inspections were done.

 

She stated that the initial exercise to identify properties that are now required to be licensed as HMOs had been done using desk top information which was available at the time. The intention is now to focus more on local intelligence and knowledge from a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Update on work to tackle counterfeit activity and environmental issues in the Strangeways area pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods

 

This report outlines multi-agency work carried out over the last 3 years, to disrupt and ultimately remove illegal businesses from the Strangeways area and improve compliance with waste regulations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair recommended that this item of business be deferred to the December meeting.

 

Decision

 

To defer this item of business to the meeting of 4 December 2019.

 

12.

Update on Homelessness and Housing pdf icon PDF 658 KB

Report of the Director of Adult Services and the Strategic Director – Development

 

This report provides an update, subsequent to the report to Neighbourhoods and Scrutiny on the 6th March 2019, on the work that is taking place to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the City. This includes the work being progressed on helping the number of people sleeping rough access accommodation and support, emergency accommodation, temporary accommodation.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cllr Flanagan in the Chair)

 

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Adult Services and The Strategic Director, Development that provided an update, subsequent to the report to Neighbourhoods and Scrutiny on the 6 March 2019, on the work that was taking place to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the City. This includes the work being progressed on helping the number of people sleeping rough access accommodation and support, emergency accommodation and temporary accommodation.

 

The Deputy Leader referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         Noting that across Manchester an increasing number of individuals and families were becoming homeless and were at greater risk of homelessness;

·         The main reason for statutory homelessness was the loss of a tenancy in the private rented sector which had become the number one cause above domestic abuse;

·         An update on the work that had been progressed to help those who were sleeping rough in the city;

?     Describing the work undertaken to improve standards in temporary accommodation; and

?     Describing the work that was progressing to prevent people from becoming homeless.

 

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

 

·         Recognising that the increase in homelessness and rough sleeping was a direct result of austerity and welfare reform;

·         Noting the report detailed a variety of positive work to respond to homeless people and rough sleepers;

·         Was the reported funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) which would fund a Navigator Service for 12 months be used to support rough sleepers;

·         When was the Navigator Service due to commence;

·         What work was being done to support people who were victims of domestic violence;

·         Welcoming the tailored Psychologically Informed Environment at Women's Direct Access;

·         Was there a breakdown by characteristic of the number of presentations to the homelessness service due to domestic violence;

·         What work was being undertaken across services to support families, especially those in dispersed accommodation;

·         Noting that over the winter period to 18 March 2019, Manchester had 529 unique individuals referred to it through A Bed Every Night, and accommodated 377 unique individuals, what happened to the other 152 that were not accommodated;

·         What support was offered to people who had been made homeless from the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and their only viable housing option would be to be to return to accommodation in the PRS;

·         Noting the importance of prevention work, where would the two pilot schemes be delivered;

·         Housing Act legislation should be used during inspections of temporary accommodation rather than Environmental Health Act powers;

·         Could the audit report of temporary accommodation policies, procedures and provisions of support to families be shared with the Committee;

·         The importance of humanising rough sleepers; and

?     Did the Task and Targeting Group record equality data.

 

The Deputy Leader stated that there was a lot of work done to support the victims of domestic violence, however she stated that there was still more to be done and this was continually  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Delivering the Our Manchester Strategy - The Executive Member for Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Neighbourhoods

 

This report provides an overview of work undertaken and progress towards the delivery of the Council’s priorities as set out in the Our Manchester Strategy for those areas within the portfolio of the Executive Member for Neighbourhoods.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Executive Member for Neighbourhoods that provided an overview of work undertaken, and progress towards the delivery of the Council’s priorities as set out in the Our Manchester strategy for those areas within the respective Executive Member’s portfolio.

 

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

 

·         The need to raise the standards of private hire taxis and hackney carriage drivers across all boroughs to ensure they met the same high standards as required in Manchester;

·         Taxi Licensing conditions should be standardised across Greater Manchester;

·         The need to lobby central government to ensure adequate subsidies were available to enable taxi drivers to scrap, upgrade or retrofit their vehicles if a Clean Air Zone was introduced;

·         Welcoming the improved rates of recycling in apartment blocks, noting that Committee had provided a challenge to the Executive Member on this issue.

 

The Executive Member for Neighbourhoods stated that he valued the taxi trade commenting that they were responsible for public safety. He stated that Manchester was proud of the high standards required by the trade and noted that the deregulation of the trade had regrettably allowed operators licensed by other authorities with less rigorous standards to enter Manchester to ply their trade. He stated that work was ongoing at a GM level to consider this and to drive up standards across the boroughs. 

 

In response to the implementation of any Clean Air Zone he said lobbying of Government would continue to ensure that adequate funding was available to both the taxi trade and other effected business to ensure they paid for an adequate scrappage scheme.

 

The Executive Member welcomed the comment regarding the increased rates of recycling and stated that thanks needed to be sent to all the officers, teams and operatives who had worked very hard, and continued to work hard in often challenging circumstances to deliver services on behalf of the residents of Manchester.

 

Decision

 

To note the report.

 

14.

Delivering the Our Manchester Strategy - The Executive Member for Environment, Planning & Transport pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport

 

This report provides an overview of work undertaken and progress towards the delivery of the Council’s priorities as set out in the Our Manchester strategy for those areas within the portfolio of the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport that provided an overview of work undertaken, and progress towards the delivery of the Council’s priorities as set out in the Our Manchester strategy for those areas within the respective Executive Member’s portfolio.

 

Louise Sheridan, Bentley House Estate Tenant and Resident Association addressed the Committee and raised specific issues in relation to the Princess Road /Medlock Street development. The Executive Member said she would respond to the resident and the Ward Member on the issues raised outside of the meeting.

 

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

 

·         Acknowledging the scale and challenge of the portfolio held;

·         The frustration experienced in escalating highways issues; and

·         Noting that the flow of traffic across the city was important for a successful economy.

 

The Chair informed the Committee that a new CRM system was due to be launched that should hopefully address the issue raised regarding escalating highways issues and that she would continue to work with Cllr Stogia to resolve any issues.

 

The Executive Member said that she enjoyed her role immensely and the challenge it presented and that she remained committed to delivering the best services on behalf of the residents of Manchester. She paid tribute to the hard work and commitment of her officers in delivering this work.

 

Decision

 

To note the report.

 

15.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 304 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.

 

 

Please note that the actual start time for each agenda item may differ from the time stated on the agenda.

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.

 

Decision

 

The Committee notes the report and approves the work programme.