Agenda and draft minutes
Economy Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 5th November, 2020 10.00 am
Venue: Virtual Meeting - Webcast at - https://manchester.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/485343
Contact: Michael Williamson
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2020.
The Committee approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2020.
Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer attached
This report sets out the impact of COVID-19 and other pressures and changes on the Council's budget for the period 2021-2025. It summarises the savings options under consideration from 2021/22 as well as set out the approach to Equality Impact Assessments and consultation as part of the budget setting process.
The Committee decided to take consideration of this report and the following report (Growth and Development Budget Options 2020/21) together. As such, the Committee considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer that set out the impact of COVID19 and other pressures and changes on the Council's budget for the period 2021-2025, including the impact of COVI19 on the capital programme and the implications for the budget and a report that set out the details on the initial savings options proposed by officers to address the estimated initial budget gap of £105m in 2021/22,
The main points and themes within the first report included: -
· The Medium Term Financial Plan remained challenged by uncertainty, which included the outcome of the Spending Review and post 2021/22 the potential changes to how local government funding was distributed;
· Prior to COVID19 there was an underlying budget gap of c£20m for 2021/22 rising to c£80m by 2024/25;
· Dealing with the impact of COVID19 had resulted in major spending pressures, particularly in social care, but also across all Directorates;
· The forecasted budget shortfall relating to COVID19 pressures and the Budget Position 2021/22 to 2024/25;
· Initial proposals across all Directorates to start addressing the budget gap in advance of the Spending Review and Local Government Financial Settlement;
· The need to undertake an Equality Impact Assessment on the options put forward, particularly those that involve impacts on services for residents and reductions in the Council’s workforce;
· Proposed consultation on budget options and timescales; and
· Next Steps.
The main points and themes in the second report included:
· The Growth and Development Directorate had a gross budget of £63m, and a net budget of circa .£9.1m, with 636.5 full time equivalent (fte) posts;
· Overall the Directorate had identified savings totalling circa. £2.314m.This would require a reduction of circa 22fte posts;
· Due to lead in time around required investments and timing on some contracts/leases, the £2.314m would be phased over the period 2021/22- 2024/25, with an initial £2.024m being delivered in 2021/22;
· The options identified that were under the remit of this Committee totalled £0.733m and required a reduction of 11fte posts;
· A breakdown of the savings proposals on a service by service basis;
· If further budgets cuts were required, options for a further £2m with an additional reduction of 30fte posts had been identified for further development.It was recognised that if this were required there would be an unavoidable impact on the service offer to residents, businesses and communities;
· The specific options under the remit of this Committee would deliver circa £1.1m deeper cuts which would require service redesigns across a number of areas in order to support the reduction in 30fte’s; and
· The Directorate budget proposals would be subject to further refinement following feedback from Scrutiny Committee and updated prior to being submitted to Executive. A further report would be brought back to January Scrutiny that incorporated the feedback from this meeting, the budget consultation and the impact of the Finance ... view the full minutes text for item 41.
Report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development) attached
This report outlines the financial position and sets out Officer options for savings against each service area aligned to the remit of the Economy Scrutiny Committee to help achieve a balanced budget in 2021/22.
In conjunction with the previous report, the Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development), which set out the details on the initial savings options proposed by officers to address the estimated initial budget gap of £105m in 2021/22, which would increase to £159m in 2022/23.
The key points and themes in the report included:-
Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-
Report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development) attached
This report provides Members with the draft Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF) for the North Manchester Health Campus in advance of undertaking a public consultation. The draft SRF envisages the redevelopment of the current North Manchester General Hospital estate as a sustainable healthy neighbourhood, anchored by modern health facilities, that is integrated into the wider community, and which includes complementary commercial, leisure, residential and retail uses set within a high quality, greener public realm.
The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development), which detailed the draft Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF) to support the proposed redevelopment of the existing North Manchester General Hospital site in Crumpsall.
Key points and themes in the report included:-
· The context and drivers for change in North Manchester;
· The vision of the draft Strategic Regeneration Framework, which covered five key elements for the campus and the guiding principles which underpinned the vision;
· An overview of the anticipated socio-economic benefits from the North Manchester Health Campus investment;
· The contribution the SRF would bring to achieving a Zero-Carbon City; and
· Next steps.
The Leader made brief comments on the progress that had been made with the proposed redevelopment over the last 12 months, including £58 million enabling funding that had been secured to date.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussion were:-
· Members welcomed the redevelopment and progress that was being made and noted the positive opportunities that would arise from this;
· The people centred element to the redevelopment proposals was positively welcomed;
· It was recognised that the project would deliver real tangible economic benefits for the city, including wellbeing
· It was hoped that the project would attract other major employers who could become anchor institutions in the city;
· What assurance could be given that further funding would be received from government to deliver the entire project
The Leader advised that government had allocated a budget for the project but the Council would still need to make a strategic business case for further funding, however having secured £58 million enabling funding so far demonstrated the governments commitment to the project.
The Director of Inclusive Economy advised that in terms of the question around further anchor institutions there had been exciting work already around the possibility of the project being an international centre for healthy aging which would drive research and commercial output, providing a specialism for north Manchester that would complement other health and innovation across the city. It was also reported that the Council was also working with Ekosgen on defining the economic benefits of the project.
The Strategic Director (Growth and Development) commented that this project presented a real opportunity to undertake serious transformation for the north of the city and its residents.
The Committee endorse the recommendations put to the Executive, those being that the Executive is recommended to:
(1) Endorse the draft North Manchester Health Campus Strategic Regeneration Framework attached as Annex 1 of this report as a basis for public consultation;
(2) Request that a further report be brought back to the Executive following the public consultation exercise, summarising the consultation responses and any amendments that have been incorporated into a final version of the SRF, which will be presented for consideration and approval.
Report of the Chief Executive attached
This report provides an update following the report in September 2020, which informed of the outcome of the recent “due diligence” review of the Arms Length Management Organisation (AMLO), Northwards Housing, undertaken by Campbell Tickell. This report provides a summary of the progress in developing the case for tenants leading to a full consultation and “test of opinion”.
Further to Minute RGSC/20/33 (Housing Revenue Account Delivery model - Northwards ALMO Review), the Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive, which provided an update on the progress in developing the case for tenants leading to a full consultation and “test of opinion”.
Key points and themes in the report included:-
· Throughout September there had been 12 workshops to assess core direct core service delivery issues and 9 workshops to consider support (back office) service issues. This was predicated initially on the view that the housing service transferred from Northwards would be delivered within the compatible council service;
· Whilst the need to address the pressures on the HRA had been a key driver, the overriding consideration always had been protecting and improving services to tenants;
· Amongst the issues are a number of risk areas that could have an effect on our ability to sustain a high-quality service to tenants, which included–
· Covid related budget impacts
· New repairs contractor
· ICT issues
· Northwards, as part of their contributions to the workshops, were also able to share their experience of service delivery and make suggestions on future service design
· Details of the practicalities of ‘Return the service to the council’ option;
· A summary of Governance and accountability proposals; and
· Details of the proposed statutory consultation that would be undertaken if the service offer was supported.
Some of the key points that arose from the committees discussions were:-
· Welcoming the report and the progress that was reported, noting that the views and comments of this Committee had been taken into account;
· Welcoming the reported dialogue with Northwards staff;
· Noting the reported findings of the due diligence review undertaken, would similar reviews be undertaken across all homes that the Council had responsibility for;
· How would the proposals align with the economic opportunities to be realised by the Northern Gateway development programme and the North Manchester Health Campus Strategic Regeneration Framework;
· Further information was requested on the future of Manchester Move, noting that this was currently managed and administered by Northwards Housing; and
· Noting the proposed next steps, what would be the position if the proposals were not supported by Northwards tenants and how was this to be assessed.
The Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration stated that the rationale for the proposal was to drive improvements in the housing stock, invest in fire safety and contribute to the city’s carbon emissions targets. She described that dialogue had commenced with staff and teams at Northwards to consider the best options for achieving any transfer with the preferred option being a ‘lift and shift’ approach, as this would reduce any risk to the service experienced by tenants and maintain continuity of staff and systems that tenants were familiar with. She stated that dialogue and staff engagement events would continue, adding that an ‘Our Manchester’ listening exercise would be delivered with Northwards staff.
The Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration informed the Committee that it was the intention to align the economic developments and opportunities that were ... view the full minutes text for item 44.
Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit
This report provides the Committee with details of key decisions that fall within the Committee’s remit and 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 as appropriate and agree.
The Economic COVID 19 Sit Rep will be an item for information is now attached.
The Committee considered a 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 Members that at the December meeting the Committee would be considering a report on the Digital Strategy, noting that the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee would consider the inclusion aspect of the Strategy at their December meeting. In response to a comment from a Members she further advised that consideration would be given to scheduling an item on the Economic Recovery of the Airport.
(1) Notes the report.
(2) Agrees the Work Programme noting the comments above.