Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan - Update on Public Consultation
The report of the Chief Executive and the City Solicitor is enclosed.
A joint report from the Deputy Chief Executive and the City Solicitor set out the progress that had been made on the development and implementation of the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan. The report set out the outcome of the public consultation on the proposals. It explained the links within the Clean Air Plan to taxi and private hire common minimum licensing standards.
In September 2020 the Executive had agreed that the Council, along with the other nine GM local Authorities, should hold an 8-week public consultation on the GM Clean Air Plan. The Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards consultation had been run in parallel to ensure that those impacted by the proposals could have a complete view of the proposed changes to vehicles and the financial support available. The report explained how the two consultations had been undertaken and the variety of research methods that had been employed.
Across all of Greater Manchester (GM) a total of 4765 responses were received: 3954 via online questionnaire; 767 via email; 43 paper questionnaires; and one telephone response. For the Minimum Licensing Standards consultation a total of 1682 responses were received: 1552 via online questionnaire; 46 via email; and 84 paper questionnaires. A full analysis of the consultation responses for Greater Manchester was to be published later in the year.
The report then set out in detail all the elements of work that were being taken forward at the GM level for the Clean Air Plan. It was explained that much of the future decision making on the development of plan now needed to be done at the GM level rather than by all the individual councils. To enable that, two new Joint Committees were being proposed to which each GM authority would appoint to the membership of the committee. These were:
The Clean Air Charging Authorities Committee to be a joint committee created by the ten Greater Manchester local authorities. The membership of the committee was to be ten, one from each council. This committee would enable decisions to be taken that are required to be taken jointly by the Constituent Authorities’ as charging authorities in relation to the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone.
The Air Quality Administration Committee to be a joint committee created by the ten Greater Manchester local authorities. The membership of the committee was to be eleven, one from each council and one from the GMCA. This committee would enable the joint discharge of the GMCA’s and Constituent Authorities’ other functions under sections 82 to 84 of the Environment Act 1995 (Air Quality) and in relation to the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.
These Joint Committees would therefore have powers delegated to them that would otherwise have been held within each of the individual councils. These proposals were all supported.
1. To note the progress of the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan and that the next steps for the development of the Clean Air Plan and Minimum Licensing Standards, as set out in the report.
2. To agree to the establishment of joint committees and to delegate to those committees the Authority’s functions as set out above and as detailed in Appendix 6 of the report.
3. To appoint the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport to sit on both committees.
4. To appoint the Assistant Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport as substitute for the Executive Members for both committees.
5. To agree to enter into a collaboration agreement with the other 9 GM local authorities and GMCA/TfGM to clarify amongst other matters the rights, responsibilities and obligations of the authorities in relation to those contracts set out in Appendix 2 of the report that are required to maintain delivery momentum in line with JAQU funding agreements.
6. To delegate authority to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport, to agree the final form of the collaboration agreement.
7. To delegate authority to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport, to award the contracts set out in Appendix 2 (subject to government funding) that are required to implement a charging Clean Air Zone in Spring 2022 to ensure the achievement of Nitrogen Dioxide compliance in the shortest possible time and by 2024 at the latest as required by the Ministerial Direction.
8. To note the distribution of Bus Retrofit funding commenced in December 2020.
9. To note that Government ministers have agreed to consider extending Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone charges to the sections of the A628/A57 which form part of the Strategic Road Network, within the proposed Clean Air Zone boundary, subject to the outcomes of an assessment, which is expected to be completed by early 2021.
10. To note that the GM Clean Air Plan is required to take action tackle nitrogen dioxide exceedances until compliance with the legal limits has been demonstrated and that the nearer term influence of COVID-19 on air quality is not expected to lead to sufficiently long term reductions in pollution such that the exceedances of the legal limits of nitrogen dioxide will not occur without implementing a Clean Air Zone.
11. To note that the final GM Clean Air Plan will be brought forward for decision as soon as is reasonably practicable and no later than summer 2021.
12. To note that the outputs of the Minimum Licensing Standards will be reported alongside the GM Clean Air Plan as soon as is reasonably practicable and no later than summer 2021.