Agenda and minutes
Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 4th December, 2019 2.00 pm
Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension
Contact: Lee Walker
Minutes silence for the victims of the London Bridge terrorist attack
To consider any items which the Chair has agreed to have submitted as urgent.
The Committee and all those present observed a minute’s silence for the victims and families of the recent London Bridge terrorist attack.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2019.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2019 as a correct record.
Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods)
This report provides an overview of the work being carried out to improve journeys to and from school. This includes opportunities for children and schools to encourage reduced use of the car for school journeys and to encourage alternative modes of active travel, activities to reduce idling and an update on the provision of school buses, including for those children with education, health and care plans.
The red and amber school crossings programme is well underway with 46 of the 81 sites being complete and the remainder due for completion by the spring/summer 2020.
The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) that provided an overview of the work being carried out to improve journeys to and from school. This included opportunities for children and schools to encourage reduced use of the car for school journeys and to encourage alternative modes of active travel, activities to reduce idling and an update on the provision of school buses, including for those children with education, health and care plans. The report also provided an update on Red and Amber School Crossing Improvements.
The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -
· Describing the activities to promote active travel and to address vehicle idling near or outside schools;
· Information on Road Safety Week;
· Information on Red Routes;
· Information on activities undertaken during Clean Air week;
· Activities to address vehicle idling;
· The provision of school buses and travel passes; and
· Red and Amber School Crossing Improvements Update.
The Committee heard from the Neighbourhood Team Lead, South Neighbourhood Team who described the activities delivered in the Sharston ward area to promote active travel to schools and improve the school journey. He described that this had arisen in response to the increased levels of obesity in school children. He also explained that local schools had worked with a range of local services and partners to deliver an activity day in the local park. He described one of the initiatives had been to encourage children to undertake a survey of their route to school to help improve their journey. He said that the issues they had identified as being of concern to them were litter and irresponsible parking.
A Member of the Committee, who was a ward councillor for the area discussed, commended the excellent work that had been delivered with young people, despite the restraints on budgets. He said that it was very important to engage with and listen to the views of young people to better understand their concerns. He stated that improving the journey to schools for young people was not simply a Highways issue and required a multi service and multi-agency response.
The Chair acknowledged the comments and stated that there were a number of good examples across other wards of similar projects and these examples of good practice should be shared with all Councillors to help support and initiate this activity, adding that all schools should be encouraged to deliver similar projects.
Councillor Reid, Ward Councillor for Gorton and Abbey Hey and former Chair of the Road Safety Around Schools Task and Finish Group addressed the Committee. She stated that she welcomed the reported progress in delivering improvements to road safety. She stated that Members would benefit from a comprehensive list of all road safety improvement works delivered and if possible, provided with before and after photographs. This recommendation was supported by the Committee. Officers responded by stating this would be provided.
The Committee then heard from representatives from TfGM (Transport for ... view the full minutes text for item 50.
Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods)
This report provides Members with an update on demand for and performance of the Compliance and Enforcement service during 2018/19. As requested by the Committee the report also provides information on the activities undertaken around enforcement in relation to commercial waste enforcement, unlicensed drinking establishments, shisha businesses and management of waste associated with licensed HMOs.
The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) that provided an update on demand for and performance of the Compliance and Enforcement service during 2018/19. As requested by the Committee, the report also provides information on the activities undertaken around enforcement in relation to commercial waste enforcement, unlicensed drinking establishments, shisha businesses and management of waste associated with licensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
The Head of Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -
· Providing a description of the various teams that made up the Compliance and Enforcement services;
· Information on the demand for services and comparative data;
· Various case studies to demonstrate enforcement activity;
· Describing proactive and project work across the city;
· Information on formal enforcement action including data on successful prosecutions by type of activity; and
· The approach to HMO Licensing and waste.
The Head of Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety informed the Committee that there was a correction to a figure presented in paragraph 2.7 of the report. She advised that the figure of 3389 should be corrected to 3627.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· Members welcomed the report and paid tribute to all of the staff delivering this important service on behalf of residents, in particular the Out Of Hours service;
· Acknowledging the proactive way in which the service deals with issues, and the importance of this in the context of budget reductions;
· Welcoming the inclusion of case studies, however requesting that where appropriate more detail be included in future reports and requesting that Members should be made aware of successes in advance of them being used as examples in reports;
· What could be done to assist those residents wishing to report illegal drinking establishments, noting that it was not always obvious as to which responsible authority would be responsible to address such issues;
· In regard to housing compliance, what legislation was used by officers to remedy housing issues that tenants experienced;
· What was the approach to using informal action rather than formal enforcement action;
· What action could be taken to address ambient noise, noting that the introduction of temporary 5G masts had resulted in an increase in incidents of this;
· How many notices had been served on builders, utilities companies and those contractors employed by the Council who operated outside of their permitted hours; and
· Further information was sought on the reported prosecutions of HMOs.
The Head of Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety acknowledged the positive comments from the Committee and stated that this would be relayed to the staff.
In response to the question regarding how members of the public could report issues associated with illegal drinking establishments, the Head of Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety stated that the most important thing was to inform the service, as residents were the most important source of information when dealing with this type of issue. She added that if a complaint or information was received ... view the full minutes text for item 51.
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.
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.
Members recommended that the ‘Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan – Update’ report should be considered at the January meeting; the ‘Planning and Compliance’ report to be moved from the January 2020 meeting to the February 2020 meeting; and the ‘Update on Selective Licensing Schemes’ report be moved to the March 2020 meeting.
The Chair noted that the items listed for the January 2020 meeting titled ‘Scheme Review – Princess Road / Princess Parkway’ should be provided as a report for information, and due to time constraints on the Committee may not be debated.
Cllr Wright, Chair of the Climate Change Subgroup recommended that Cllrs Hassan and Lynch be appointed as members of the Subgroup. This recommendation was endorsed by the Committee.
1. The Committee notes the report and approves the work programme subject to the above amendments.
2. To appoint Councillors Hassan and Lynch as members of the Climate Change Subgroup.