Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Review Panel - The Council’s Policy for Active Streets, Play Streets and School Streets
Wednesday, 3rd March, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Webcast - Remote Meeting. View directions

Contact: Damian Eaton  0161 474 3207


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 3 February 2021.

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The Minutes of the meeting held on 3 February 2021 (copies of which had been circulated) were approved as a correct record.


Declarations of Interest

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

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Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests which they had in any of the items on the agenda.


No declarations were made.


Introduction to Active Neighbourhoods in Stockport

To consider a short presentation on the Active Neighbourhoods programme in Stockport.

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Amy Beasley (Transport Strategy and Growth Manager, Stockport Council) attended the meeting and made a presentation in relation to the progress of the active neighbourhoods programme in Stockport.


The following comments were made/ issues raised:-


·         Active neighbourhoods schemes would benefit not just those who were active cyclists or runners as they would provide improvements in connectivity and infrastructure that would serve the entire community.

·         There would be a comprehensive consultation on the introduction of any new scheme and they would also be subject to engagement with the consent of the local Area Committee.

·         Many schemes were contingent on securing external funding such as through the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.


RESOLVED – That Amy Beasley be thanked for her attendance and presentation.


Discussion in relation to the operation of Active/ Play/ School Streets in Stockport

A number of interested parties have been invited to attend the meeting to discuss how the current Active/ Play/ School Streets policies in the borough operated.


The following organisations/ individuals have agreed to attend the meeting to share their experiences with the Panel and respond to any questions they might have:-


1)    Aldwyn Crescent Community Club

2)    Stockport Walk Ride Groups

3)    Playing Out

4)    Sustrans/ UK Liveable Streets


In addition, the following councillors have also asked to attend to share their views and contribute to the discussion:-


1)    Councillor Iain Roberts

2)    Councillor Matt Wynne

3)    Councillor Yvonne Guariento

4)    Councillor Lisa Walker

5)    Councillor Aron Thornley

6)    Councillor Grace Baynham

7)    Councillor Kate Butler

8)    Councillor Malcolm Allan


Councillor Sheila Bailey (Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport) will also be in attendance at the meeting.

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The Chair reported that a number of interested parties had been invited to attend the meeting to discuss how the current active street, play street and school Streets policies in the borough operated and to provide the benefit of the experience of other authorities and organisations from elsewhere in the country.


Each representative was afforded the opportunity to make a brief statement or presentation followed by questions from the Panel.


(i)            Holly Beasley (Chair, Aldwyn Crescent Community Club)


·         Holly had been involved in Stockport’s only current play street scheme in Aldwyn Crescent, Hazel Grove since April 2018.

·         The Community Club had been established to organise ‘playing out’ events after the initiative had featured on BBC News.

·         The Club organised a consultation with local residents by arranging a meeting and circulating fliers in the community which solicited significant interest.

·         Many people became involved who didn’t have children but just wanted to assist.

·         The most significant barrier encountered by the Club was the requirement to obtain Public Liability Insurance at a cost of £277 per year.

·         There were additional one-off costs associated with acquiring signs and barriers to give effect to the road closures, although funding was obtained from the local area committee to offset this.

·         The ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic had limited opportunities to benefit from the scheme over the past year, although there had been some small-scale events such as socially-distanced carol singing.

·         The scheme was well-supported and had forged new community links and friendships.

·         Children had adapted well to the scheme and had understood its extent and limitations.

·         The requirement to canvass residents to obtain support for the scheme was also highlighted as a barrier to new schemes as it was perceived as unnecessarily confrontational.


The following comments were then made/ questions asked:-


·         In response the sustainability of schemes to operate when key personnel moved on or when their children were no longer of primary school age, it was stated that many of the current volunteers had no children at all, and Holly was currently in the process of passing the management of the scheme onto someone else as she was now moving out of the area,

·         It was suggested that the term ‘community street’ might be more appropriate than ‘play street’ as this encompassed the whole range of activities that might take place during street closures.

·         The Community Club had an active core team of around six volunteers.

·         The street closures were ‘self-managing’.

·         There had been no significant difficulties encountered with regard to recruiting sufficient marshals to manage the scheme.

·         It was suggested that Stockport’s starting point seemed to be to assume that such initiatives would be a problem, whereas some other authorities started from the opposite viewpoint which was perhaps a feature in why they had far more schemes in operation.

·         The process in Stockport needed to be made far more straightforward to encourage and not dissuade residents from starting a scheme.


(ii)        Sarah McClelland (on behalf of Stockport WalkRide Groups)


·         Sarah was a volunteer with WalkRide Heatons and had previously been involved in organising a one-off street closure for a street party.

·         There was a need to make better sense of our streets.

·         Active travel needed to be considered as part of the norm.

·         The review being undertaken by the Panel was welcomed as recognition that the current policy was not working.

·         The speed and excess of traffic was identified as the reason why ‘playing out’ had reduced so significantly over the last 30 years.

·         ‘Sat navs’ had increased the number of vehicles that now used traditionally residential streets as thoroughfares.

·         On average, 86% of vehicles driving down roads with a 20mph limit were travelling in excess of the speed limit.

·         Children needed to be encouraged to walk to school, and if those streets were safer to walk and cycle on it acted as a ‘miracle pill’.

·         Play streets reduced the number of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Dates for Future Meetings

To agree that the next meeting of the Review should be held on Monday, 29 March 2021.

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RESOLVED – That the next meeting of the Panel be held on Monday, 29 March 2021.