Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Environment and Climate Change Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 24th June, 2021 10.00 am

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

Contact: Lee Walker, Scrutiny Support Officer 

Note: This meeting can be viewed on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/561350136 

Items
No. Item

5.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 292 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 27 May 2021.

Minutes:

The Chair requested that Councillor Chohan’s apologies be recorded in the minutes of the previous meeting

 

Decision

 

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 27 May 2021 as a correct record, subject to the above amendment.

 

6.

Manchester's Park Strategy - Progress through the Pandemic pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods)

 

This report provides an overview of Manchester’s Park Strategy and the considerations for the Parks Service following the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic.  The report sets out the focus for the service over the next 6 months and outlines how momentum is being maintained on the delivery of the strategic themes despite the significant financial challenges caused by a reduction in permitted activity and trading

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) that provided an overview of Manchester’s Park Strategy and the considerations for the Parks Service following the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic. The report set out the focus for the service over the next 6 months and outlined how momentum is being maintained on the delivery of the strategic themes despite the significant financial challenges caused by a reduction in permitted activity and trading.

 

The main points and themes within the report included: -

 

·                Providing and introduction and background to the strategy, highlighting the four key themes of the ten-year strategy for Manchester’s Parks;

·                Noting that progress updates on the delivery of the Park Strategy had previously been reported to the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee;

·                Noting that during the last 15 months the priority for the service had been to maintain safe access to green space for the City’s residents;

·                An overview of the impact of the pandemic on service delivery;

·                The financial impact of the pandemic;

·                Information on the Parks Development Programme, that will see £12.5M of Manchester City Council funding utilised to attract new partnerships and support key stakeholder groups to continue to close the gap between operating costs and income raised through enhanced trading activity in parks;

·                Plans and initittives for the next six months; and

·                Information relating to a Manchester Quality Standard and the Productive Parks in Partnership fund.

 

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

 

·                The Committee thanked officers and staff working in parks for their work during the pandemic, noting that the service had undertaken a restructure during this period;

·                Noting how important green space had been to resident’s health and wellbeing during this challenging period;

·                The parks offer needed to be standardised and consistent across all wards;

·                Consideration needed to be given to advertising planned events in parks on notice boards at the entrance to parks;

·                A report should be provided to the next meeting of the Committee that detailed all of the events planned in parks for the summer period;

·                Welcoming the recent positive launch of the wellbeing garden in Didsbury and the positive contribution this would have for residents;

·                Was the budget for parks increasing this year as a result of savings made in the previous year due to cancelled events;

·                Noting The Year of Childhood, a year-long celebration of childhood running throughout 2021 events should be delivered in parks in those wards that experienced poverty and deprivation;

·                Consideration needed to be given to installing individual recycling bins within parks;

·                Clarification was sought as to the use of pesticides, particularly the use of glyphosate to manage weeds,  

·                Access and proximity to parks and green space should be mapped;

·                Safety in parks needed to be appropriately considered;

·                Sustainable travel to access green spaces should be encouraged and promoted;

·                A register should be established that identified who owened and had responibilty for areas of land across the city;

·                Cycle routes should be established  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Introduction to the Neighbourhood Climate Change Officers pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods)

 

The report summarises progress since the 3 Climate Neighbourhood Officers were appointed in March and April 2021, how they are approaching their roles and initial areas which they have identified for development.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) that provided a summary of the progress since the three Climate Neighbourhood Officers were appointed in March and April 2021, how they were approaching their roles and initial areas which they had identified for development.

 

The main points and themes within the report included: -

 

·                Providing and introduction and background, noting that the posts had been established on a 2-year fixed term basis;

·                The Climate Change Officers would give advice and direction and ensure that both Councillors and communities had support and information to develop locally based climate change initiatives;

·                Describing their key tasks and their approach to work with local Neighbourhood Teams;

·                Noting the commitemnt to strong partnership working and building upon extensive relationships with internal and external stakeholders and residents on the climate change agenda; and

·                Identified areas for development.

 

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

 

·                Welcoming the new Climate Change Officers and wishing them well in their new role;

·                Officers needed to engage with local schools to promote and support climate change projects, ideally with a Climate Change Officer allocated to each ward;

·                The need to engage with businesses to develop plans and targets to tackle their own emissions and this should be incorporated and reported via the Cliamte Change Action Plan as this was key to delviering the city’s emissions target;

·                Were all of the individual ward climate change action plans established;

·                There was a need to meaningfully measure the outcomes and impact of the individual ward claimate change action plans;

·                An update was sought in relation to Carbon Literacy training and could this be brought inhouse to progress and deliver as quickly as possible;

·                Was the Neighbourhood Investment Fund sufficient to drive forward this important area of work, noting that the Lottery Fund was significanlty higher however complex to access; and

·                Examples of good practive and local inititives related to climate change should be shared across all wards via ward coordination.

 

The Head of Neighbourhoods stated that the climate change officers would be working with local schools and were members of the Schools Network. She advised that the officers would also progress this work by engaging with local businesses, especially those operating at a neighbourhood level and would seek to establish links with local trader organisations to progress this agenda.

 

The Chair stated that following discussions at the May 2021 meeting she would be meeting with the Chair of Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee to agree the options for ensuring that climate change and young people was adequately addressed through the scrutiny process.

 

The Head of Neighbourhoods advised that it was recognised that working with a range of partners across the city was vital to deliver the climate change ambitions for the city. She said that these new posts would seek to compliment existing programmes rather than duplicate any existing work. She advised that the work to deliver ward climate change action plans continued to be progressed,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 367 KB

Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit

 

This report includes a summary of key decisions that are within 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 amend or agree as appropriate. 

 

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 Committee recommended that report titled ‘Planning and its contribution to address climate change’ should be brought forward to the earliest possible meeting and this should include consideration of the policy in relation to developers being required to install electric vehicle charging points and the delivery for suitable cycle storage facilities. A request was also made for an item that considered the actions taken to reduce carbon emissions at Manchester Airport including an update on the progress made to reduce aviation related carbon emissions was added to the Work Programme as an item “to be scheduled”.

 

Decision

 

The Committee note the report and agree the work programme subject to the above comments.