Agenda and minutes

Economy & Regeneration Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 19th December, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: David Clee  (0161 474 3137)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 151 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 31 October 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

3.

Call-In

To consider call-in items (if any).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no call-in items to consider.

4.

MTFP Budget Choices for 2020/21: Update pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration

 

Earlier this year, in September, the Cabinet presented a series of proposals in response to the summer review of the Medium Term Financial Plan undertaken earlier this year. The review highlighted the continued uncertainty, complexity and volatility facing local government funding - presenting significant challenges for local citizens and their local public services. The Cabinet’s proposals were developed in line with the medium term strategy (fig.1) which was introduced in 2018[1] to frame the choices the Council will make about its budget, both next year and in future years.

 

Since this report there have been further developments nationally, such as the 2019 spending review which will inform the local government finance settlement expected to be announced in December

 

The Cabinet remain committed to engaging widely on proposals and this report includes an update on those draft proposals that fall within this Committee’s remit. Since they were originally presented to this Committee for discussion and comment, further development on proposals have been undertaken. The updated proposals presented as part of this report also now reflect further engagement, or where appropriate consultation, with partners, citizens and relevant groups. These proposals are being presented to Scrutiny for further comment before being considered by the Cabinet on 6th January 2020 for inclusion within the Budget.

 

The Cabinet are keen to seek views from Scrutiny on these plans ahead of decision making in January 2020.  In order to enable broad engagement on Cabinet’s plans, Scrutiny Committees are receiving this report and suite of appendices relevant to their remit.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to comment on the proposals and consultation results presented within the report relevant to the remit of this committee.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae on 0161 474 3014 or email: holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on the Medium Term Financial Plan Budget choices for 2020/21.

 

In September the Cabinet had presented a series of proposals in response to the summer review of the Medium Term Financial Plan undertaken earlier this year. The review highlighted the continued uncertainty, complexity and volatility facing local government funding, presenting significant challenges for local citizens and their local public services. The Cabinet’s proposals had been developed in line with the medium term strategy which was introduced in 2018 to frame the choices the Council would make about its budget, both next year and in future years.

 

The Cabinet remained committed to engaging widely on proposals and the report included an update on those draft proposals that fell within the Committee’s remit. Since they were originally presented to the Committee for discussion and comment, further development on the proposals had been undertaken. The updated proposals presented as part of this report now reflected further engagement or, where appropriate, consultation with partners, citizens and relevant groups. These proposals were being presented to the Scrutiny Committee for further comment before being considered by the Cabinet on 6 January 2020 for inclusion within the Budget.

 

The proposal which affected this Scrutiny Committee was Proposal 9.1 – balancing the cost of services Phase 2 in Services to Place, Services to People and Corporate and Support Services. The proposal would ensure that the Council continued to apply the Council’s new Fairer Charging Policy by applying an inflationary increase (as defined in the policy) to existing fees and charges any by undertaking further reviews in those areas not currently achieving full cost recovery.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

 

  • It was important that the proposals did not have an effect elsewhere, for example on schools.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

5.

PROPOSED BUS FRANCHISING SCHEME CONSULTATION RESPONSE pdf icon PDF 352 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration

 

The report sets out a summary of the proposals for a bus franchising scheme for Greater Manchester and information about the ongoing consultation exercise.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is requested to:-

 

·         To questions asked in the questionnaire

·         Note and comment on the proposed Bus Franchising Scheme to inform the proposed Cabinet response to the consultation.

 

Officer Contact: Sue Stevenson on 0161 464 4351 or email: sue.stevenson@stockport.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out a summary of the proposals for a bus franchising scheme for Greater Manchester and information about the ongoing consultation exercise.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration (Councillor David Meller) attended the meeting to respond to Members’ questions.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

 

  • What sort of measures were being put in place to ensure that all consultation responses were examined.
  • Some of the questions in the consultation were quite daunting for members of the public to respond to and a Member enquired whether there were any other ways that the views of members of the public could be ascertained. The Cabinet Member agreed to try and make members of the public more aware of the consultation through social media.
  • The comments of the Scrutiny Committee would be included in the Council’s response to the consultation which would be submitted to the Cabinet.
  • With regard to question 3 – Do you have any comments on the local services that are proposed to be franchised, the Cabinet Member confirmed that he had raised a Member’s previous concern about the 192 bus service not stopping at Stepping Hill hospital with Transport for Greater Manchester.
  • Concern was raised about would happen in the transition period after the bus franchising scheme was confirmed, but before it was in operation.
  • There would be problems with multi-operator ticketing if people wished to undertake journeys which crossed the boundary of the borough of Stockport. This would seem unfair, for example, to local residents travelling by bus to use local services, such as doctors, which were over the boundary of Stockport.
  • The Assessment document highlighted benefits from improvements to driver training which aimed to standardise the training.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

6.

District Centres Update pdf icon PDF 181 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration

 

The report builds on the recent Scrutiny review into the health and prosperity of the borough’s District Centres and is seeking early views from Members to shape a future programme of work that will feed into the Council’s Local Plan and future delivery of regeneration and investment.

 

The report also proposes a number of proposals that could be implemented quickly whilst further engagement takes place over the coming months.

 

There is also a high level update in this report on the early week following the announcement that Cheadle has been identified as part of the Government’s Town Fund initiative.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment on and note the report.

 

Officer Contact: Paul Richards on 0161 474 2940 or email: paul.richards@stockport.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which built on the recent Scrutiny review into the health and prosperity of the borough’s District Centres and was seeking early views from Members to shape a future programme of work that would feed into the Council’s Local Plan and future delivery of regeneration and investment.

 

The report also proposed a number of proposals that could be implemented quickly whilst further engagement took place over the coming months.

 

There was also a high level update in the report on the early weeks following the announcement that Cheadle had been identified as part of the Government’s Town Fund initiative.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration (Councillor David Meller) attended the meeting to respond to Members’ questions.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

 

  • The Council’s proposal for the creation of a £200,000 interest-free loan scheme to cover an initial two year period to encourage businesses to occupy vacant premises by contributing towards the financial costs of physical property improvements was welcomed. However, the details of the scheme and the type of businesses to be encouraged were still being considered.
  • It was noted that while the loan scheme was a finite resource, it was intended that monies repaid by business would be recycled and used to provide further such loans to new businesses.
  • The issue was highlighted about what provisions were in place should the businesses who benefited from the interest-free loan fail.
  • It was acknowledged that district centres were changing with, for example, the closure of banks and building societies, and the increase in internet shopping, but all district centres retained a retail function,
  • Criteria would be put in place so that the resources were targeted at areas of greatest need.
  • If the scheme was successful, Officers would look to build on the operation of the scheme in the district centres into the local centres. The definition of a district centre may need to be re-examined in the future and this work was ongoing.
  • The Stage 1 report by the Institute for Place Management into Vital and Viable District Centres was a snapshot in time and would be submitted to the area committees for Members’ comments. Consequently some of the background information provided within the report in relation to each of the district centres was out of date. The Stage 2 report would come forward in the next year. For the stakeholder groups to be successful they would need to be self-sustaining.
  • The money allocated by the Government to Cheadle as part of the Town Fund was for major pieces of work, but consideration could be given to assisting new businesses in the future.
  • The different amount of car parking available in each of the district centres was referred to. In addition, there were issues such as those in Edgeley district centre where people parked to use the railway station or walk to the town centre.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

7.

Stockport Interchange, Land Acquisition at Exchange Street Compulsory Purchase Order Resolution pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration

 

The report seeks approval ‘in principle’ from the Cabinet for the Council to acquire compulsorily land and existing rights and interests where agreement cannot be reached to implement a scheme to create an important pedestrian access between the Interchange building and Stockport Railway Station consisting of a bridge over Daw Bank and associated pedestrian/cycle route to Station Road.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is requested to comment on the report.

 

Officer Contacts: Paul Richards on 0161 474 2940 or email: paul.richards@stockport.gov.uk and Robert Goulsbra on 0161 218 1764 or email: robert.goulsbra@stockport.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) regarding a proposal to seek approval from the Cabinet ‘in principle’ for the Council to acquire land compulsorily and existing rights and interests where agreement could not be reached to implement a scheme to create an important pedestrian access between the Interchange building and Stockport Railway station consisting of a bridge over Daw Bank and associated pedestrian/cycle route to Station Road.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration (Councillor David Meller) attended the meeting to respond to Members’ questions.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

8.

Agenda Planning pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive                                                          

 

The report sets out planned agenda items for the Scrutiny Committee’s next meeting and Forward Plan items that fall within the remit of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the information in the report and put forward any agenda items for future meetings of the Committee.

           

Officer Contact: David Clee on 0161 474 3137 or email: david.clee@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Deputy Chief Executive submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the planned agenda items for the Scrutiny Committees next meeting and any relevant Forward Plan items.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.