Our Manchester Progress Update
Report of the Chief Executive attached
The Executive considered a report of the Chief Executive which provided an update on key areas of progress against the Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 which reset Manchester’s priorities for the next five years to ensure the Council could still achieve the city’s ambition set out in the Our Manchester Strategy 2016 – 2025.
The Executive Member for Housing and Development reported that planning approval had been granted for the building of 128 properties in relation to the first project by the Council’s This City housing company at Rodney Street in Ancoats. Almost a third of the homes would be made available at the Manchester Living Rent. The development brought back into use a brownfield site in a highly sustainable location close to the city centre enabling residents to walk, cycle and use public transport to access local services and employment.
The Executive Member for Housing and Development also reported that a £20m bid for Levelling Up funding to jump start the transformation of Wythenshawe town centre had been submitted to the government by the Council. If successful it would represent a leap forward for the regeneration of the town centre and help support the creation of hundreds of jobs – and thousands of new homes, including affordable homes, on nearby Council-owned brownfield land.
Councillor Leech sought clarification on when a decision by government on Manchester’s bid could be expected and what was the Council’s plan for the redevelopment of Wythenshawe if the bid was unsuccessful
The Executive Member for Children and Families reported that as part of the Our Year campaign, a Play festival was hosted last month on National Play Day to celebrate children’s right to play. The event, held in partnership between Manchester City Council, the Manchester Play Network and Play England, attracted more than 3,000 attendees. It featured free activities ranging from messy play and sensory activities for toddlers and younger children to a climbing wall and DJ and circus workshops for children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
The Executive Member for Children and Families also reported that the provisional A Level and GCSE outcomes for Manchester schools, sixth forms and colleges compared very favourably to the national picture and to the last examined GCSE and A Level results in Manchester from 2019, which was a significant achievement particularly in the light of the considerable challenges of the last two years.
The Deputy Leader informed Members that the latest round of the Our Manchester Voluntary and Community Sector (OMVCS) grants programme had been launched. The refreshed grant programme aimed to support VCS organisations with a track record of delivering services to Manchester people, with a focus on some of the city’s key priorities such as inclusion, health, tackling poverty and addressing climate change.
The Executive Member for Environment reported on a scientific study, partly funded by the Council, which involved four Manchester primary schools and demonstrated that selective planting of ‘tredges’ (trees managed as hedges’) between busy roads and playgrounds helped protect children from air pollution. The Council was now considering how learnings from the study could be applied within the city as part of its wider measures to improve air quality.
Councillor Leech commented that given the reported positive outcomes of the study, he hoped the Council would consider selective planting of tredges for schools on main arterial routes.
The Executive note the update