- Meeting of Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee, Thursday, 5th November, 2020 2.00 pm (Item 42.)
Report of the Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastucture
This report provides details of the arrangements for a public meeting on the 18 November 2020.
The Committee received a report of the Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastructure which provided details of the arrangements for a public meeting on the 18 November 2020. The report stated that the construction of the Peterloo Memorial was undertaken in the context of Manchester achieving its zero-carbon target for the city and that the location of the Memorial was easily accessible using sustainable modes of transport.
The Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure introduced the report. The main points included:
- The context of and background to the development of the Memorial;
- The options considered to make the monument fully accessible and why these had not been workable;
- Proposals for a temporary ramp around the anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre;
- That lessons had been learnt from the mistakes made; and
- The purpose of the virtual public meeting on 18 November 2020.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:
- That some Committee Members had not received their invitation to the meeting on 18 November 2020;
- Concern that the meeting had been arranged at short notice and that it was important to carry this out in the right way, including ensuring that it was accessible;
- A lack of clarity regarding who the meeting was for andcould the meeting be open to all interested parties;
- That it had not been made clear to everyone why the ramp option proposed in February was not considered suitable;
- That the lessons learnt and the changes to processes should be a formal document or framework;
- Could the temporary ramp be available at other times if groups requested it;
- Could the costings for all the options be made available at the public meeting; and
- Would the costs of putting in place the temporary ramp every year be sustainable in future years, given the Council’s financial situation.
The Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure agreed to put in place a formal policy or strategy to formalise the lessons learnt from this. He committed to making the virtual public meeting accessible to disabled participants and stated that people with an interest in this issue would be able to participate and that he would be willing to postpone the meeting for a couple of weeks to ensure it was carried out in the right way. He advised Members that the Council was willing to consider installing a temporary ramp for events at other times of the year, although the costs would need to be taken into account. He reported that costings had not been worked out for the permanent options as none of them had proved workable. He informed the Committee that the Council was committed to providing a temporary ramp each year for the anniversary, despite the costs, due to the errors it had made in relation to the Memorial. The Development Manager reported that he did not have costings for either the permanent options or the temporary ramp but that the cost of the temporary ramp was likely to be lower.
To ask officers and the Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure to change the date of the public meeting in order to give more time to ensuring that it is carried out in the correct way and that the meeting be an open, accessible forum for the consideration of a limited number of options, including the most recent proposal from the campaign groups and the Council’s proposal for a temporary ramp.