Agenda and minutes

Council Meeting
Thursday, 22nd October, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Webcast - Remote Meeting. View directions

Contact: Damian Eaton  (0161 474 3207)

Note: In the light of government guidance on social-distancing and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this meeting will be held remotely. The press and public are able to follow the proceedings by watching our live webcast of the meeting. You can do so following the directions above, or by clicking on View the Webcast below. 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Formalities and Announcements

Additional documents:

1.(i)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 345 KB

To approve as a correct record and order that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 17 September 2020 be signed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the Meeting of the Council held on 17 September 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

1.(ii)

Urgent Decisions

To report any urgent action taken under the Constitution since the last meeting of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No urgent decisions were reported.

1.(iii)

Mayor's Announcements

To receive announcements from the Mayor.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With deep regret, the Mayor reported that former councillor Kevin Dowling had passed away on 3 October 2020.  It was stated that Mr Dowling had served as a councillor for the Marple North ward between 2011 and 2015.

 

Councillor Mark Hunter then paid tribute to the memory of Mr Dowling.

 

The Mayor invited all those present to observe a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to the memory of Mr Dowling.

 

The Mayor then reported that it remained a difficult time for residents, businesses and local community groups due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that consequently the number of Mayor engagements had been limited.  However, the Mayor stated that he had recently opened the new offices of TPD Wealth Management at The Three Shires, Great Underbank, Stockport.  He further stated that he had been involved in the promotion of the One Stockport campaign and interviewed by the Stockport Talking Newspaper.

 

Finally, the Mayor reported that he would shortly be launching a Just Giving page to more readily allow donations to the Mayor’s nominated charity of Beacon Counselling to be received in a covid-safe way.

1.(iv)

Declarations of Interest

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The following interests were declared:-

 

Personal Interest

 

Councillor

Interest

 

 

Colin Foster

Summons Item 3(i) – ‘Youth Justice Plan 2020-21’ as a member of the Youth Justice Partnership Board.

 

 

Disclosable Pecuniary Interest

 

Councillor

Interest

 

 

Andy Sorton

Summons Item 8(i) – ‘Motion – ‘Re-opening Stockport Central Library and transparency about any future closure plans’ as his partner was as an employee of the Library Service and was currently based at Stockport Central Library.

 

Councillor Sorton took no part in the discussion or vote on this item.

 

 

 

2.

Community Engagement

Additional documents:

2.(i)

Public Question Time

To receive any questions from and provide answers to the public in relation to matters relevant to the Council’s activities.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members of the public were invited to put questions to the Mayor and councillors on matters within the powers and duties of the Council.

 

Ten public questions were submitted as follows:-

 

·         Relating to the progress made towards achieving direct rail platform access from Woodsmoor Station to Stepping Hill Hospital as a greener travel alternative for staff and patients.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economy & Regeneration (Councillor David Meller) responded that the Council worked in partnership with Stepping Hill Hospital to explore alternative travel arrangements to and from the hospital site.  It was stated that in partnership with the Foundation Trust, the Council procured the services of a civil engineering consultant group to carry out a high level feasibility study to explore the possibility of creating a direct path from Woodsmoor Station to the Stepping Hill Hospital site.  The initial view, based on the superficial topographical features, was that such a path was possible and as a result, council officers engaged in a shared piece of work with Network Rail to explore this further.

 

However, further detailed site surveys raised concerns  in relation to the need to move several pieces of rail infrastructure and the potential presence of buried assets.  There were further concerns in relation to the security of the proposed route and the impact on local residents whose land would sit adjacent to the proposed path.  As a result, while it a path was technically feasible, the cost of the work and the impact on local residents meant that it was not considered to be an optimal solution.

 

It was confirmed that notwithstanding this, the Council continued to work with the rail industry to improve access such as the provision of wayfinding signage and alterations to the ramp that served the southbound platform.

 

Councillor Grace Baynham further responded that the provision of a pedestrian link between the station and the hospital site had been an aspiration of ward councillors for a number of years, and while the technical issues were recognised these were surmountable and ward councillors continued to view the provision of the path as a benefit to the local area.

 

·         Relating to how plans for increases in housing in Stockport would increase demand on public services, including Stepping Hill Hospital and whether an assessment had been made of its effect on the local environment, including increased road traffic to the hospital site.

 

The Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport (Councillor Sheila Bailey) responded that the Council had been working for some time with its partners in the Clinical Commissioning Group to assess the impact on the provision of healthcare of increased housing delivery across the borough.  It was further stated that same was true with regard to education provision and other forms of community facilities which helped to create sustainable communities.

 

·         Relating to whether the Council could explain why they were still putting forward the residents parking strategy update report when the pilot for this scheme (the Stepping Hill CPZ) was rejected by 95% of respondents.

 

The Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport (Councillor Sheila Bailey) responded that the proposed parking scheme was due to be considered at the next meeting of the Cabinet.  It was stated that the strategy document proposed the development of zonal parking schemes that could better utilise the resources within the council. However, it was stated that it was not proposed that there would be a standardised scheme that would be used in every locality.

 

·         Relating to the time already taken to develop a proposed residents permit parking strategy, why the issue been kicked into the long grass again and how much longer would it be before the policy was considered by the Cabinet.

 

The Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport (Councillor Sheila Bailey) responded that there were competing demands on the Council’s resources at the current time, including the priority of responding to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  It was stated that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.(i)

2.(ii)

Petitions and Presentations pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To receive petitions, and by prior arrangement, receive delegations and presentations from members of the public, community groups or partnership organisations.

 

No such arrangements have been made for this meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Petitions

 

The Mayor reported on the receipt of two petitions as follows:-

 

·         a petition signed by 1,490 local signatories asking the Council to not approve any expansion of the Bredbury Parkway industrial estate into the protected green space of the Tame Valley.

·         a petition signed by 4,001 asking the Council to rescind the proposal to close and replace the Central Library with a much reduced library service located in the empty ex-Argos unit in the  Merseyway.                                                              

 

The Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus & Engagement (Councillor Kate Butler) thanked residents for the submission of their petition in relation to Stockport Central Library and stated that the consultation could and should have been clearer that the proposal was in relation to library services and not the library building and that concerns over the building itself could have been addressed more explicitly.  However, Councillor Butler maintained that the consultation remained legitimate and robust and that her overriding concern remained the safety of the public and library staff coupled with trying to provide a town centre library service as quickly as possible. 

 

RESOLVED – That the petitions be referred to the Corporate Director (Place) and Deputy Chief Executive.

 

Presentations

 

No such arrangements had been made for the meeting.

2.(iii)

Joint Authorities

(a)       Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel

 

Councillor Amanda Peers to answer questions, if any, on the business of the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel.

 

(b)       Greater Manchester Combined Authority

 

The following councillors to answer questions (if any) on the business of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority:-

 

Greater Manchester Combined Authority            - Councillor Elise Wilson

Greater Manchester Transport Committee          - Councillor David Meller

Greater Manchester Waste Committee                - Councillor Roy Driver

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)       Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel

 

Councillor Gribbon referred to the recruitment of new police officers and suggested that the figures that had been previously quoted were not accurate due to existing officers being on periods of leave or not on active duty, and it was queried whether any further information could be provided in relation to the numbers of officers who were currently not in active service.

 

Councillor Peers responded that she appreciated the concerns expressed and that she would provide a written response that would be circulated to all members of the Council.

 

(b)       Greater Manchester Combined Authority

 

Councillor Smart commented on the failure to secure an agreement between the Mayor of Greater Manchester and central government on a package of support for businesses impacted by the movement into Tier 2.  The government had subsequently made an announcement on the financial support that would be offered and it was queried whether that funding would be sufficient to meet the needs of Greater Manchester’s economy, and if not what the size of the gap was.

 

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Devolution (Councillor Elise Wilson) responded that at this stage the full details of what the package amounted to were not available and discussions were taking place to fully establish this.

 

Councillor Smart further queried what the failure of these negotiations meant for the state of devolution across the United Kingdom, and in particular in Greater Manchester and whether the current arrangements were fit for purpose.

 

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Devolution (Councillor Elise Wilson) responded that Greater Manchester had made more progress with regard to devolution than many other regions in England and that she supported further devolution to Greater Manchester. 

 

Finally, Councillor Smart asked whether the Leader of the Council would push for Greater Manchester to be included in a pilot so that relatives of care home residents were considered as key workers to enable them to gain access to regular testing which would allow them to see their relatives in these settings.

 

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Devolution (Councillor Elise Wilson) responded that she fully agreed with this proposal and that she would raise it at the Greater Manchester Covid Committee.

 

Councillor Hunter stated the Liberal Democrat Group had consistently opposed the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework because of the damage they feared it would do to the borough’s precious green spaces.  Councillor Hunter further reported that Andrew Gwynne MP had recently put his name to a letter to the Leader of the Council, and asked whether he was right when he stated that “we can only imagine that you as a Leader do not have an adequate understanding of the site and the destruction this development will have to our shared border and beautiful countryside”.

 

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Devolution (Councillor Elise Wilson) responded that she understood why people wanted to protect the environment and the green belt, but that the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework was a proposal that sought to balance the need to deliver jobs homes and the protection of the environment.  Councillor Wilson stated that all of these factors were important and needed to be delivered, but getting the balance right would be difficult.

 

Councillor Hunter further asked whether the Leader of the Council would take on board the additional comments in the letter co-signed by Andrew Gwynne MP where it was stated that “we ask you to think again to put the future of our boroughs first and protect our precious green belt for generations to come”.

 

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Devolution (Councillor Elise Wilson) stated that she was committed to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework as it provided a positive step for Stockport to work together with its neighbours to deliver on jobs, housing and the environment.  Councillor Wilson  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.(iii)

3.

Policy Framework and Budget

Additional documents:

3.(i)

Youth Justice Plan 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 951 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Children, Family Services & Education.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Children, Family Services & Education (Councillor Colin Foster) submitted the Youth Justice Plan for 2020/21 (copies of which had been circulated).

 

RESOLVED – That the Youth Justice Plan 2020/21 be approved and adopted.

4.

Annual Report on Complaints relating to Councillors Conduct in 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To consider a report of the Strategic Head of Service & Monitoring Officer (Legal & Democratic Governance)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance (Councillor Tom McGee) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on complaints received about the conduct of members during the 2019/20 municipal year.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

5.

Leader's Report and Cabinet Question Time

Additional documents:

5.(i)

Cabinet Business

To receive a report from the Leader of the Council and other members of the Cabinet on the conduct of Cabinet business since the last Council Meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Devolution (Councillor Elise Wilson) reported that earlier this year society had been turned upside down by the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic and the government's response was to implement a national lockdown coupled with significant financial support measures.  Following this period, track and trace measures had been implemented coupled with more financial assistance to help the country start to return to normality.  Councillor Wilson stated that the Cabinet had been supportive of that approach and at all times had endeavoured to support and protect the people of Stockport.  The North West was one of the areas to come of lockdown with higher rates of infection and as a consequence, from July Stockport had almost continuously been placed under additional measures and restrictions.  Councillor Wilson stated that officers and health colleagues have been working to combat the rise.

 

Councillor Wilson stated that it had become clear that the national tools had not been sufficient to bring down the infection rate, and at a Greater Manchester level it had been considered that a better route would be through devolved test trace, isolate and compliance, coupled with support for those most affected should they contract Covid-19.

 

Councillor Wilson reported that the leaders of the ten Greater Manchester councils had entered into discussions with the government in relation to these matters as it was felt that Tier 3 restrictions would not have as much impact as the proposals put forward by Greater Manchester.  However, it was clear that the government wanted to maintain its current policy and as a result, Greater Manchester entered into negotiations over the appropriate tier and which financial package was needed to support businesses and residents.

 

Greater Manchester returned with a fully costed evidence-based package of proposals that would have supported residents and businesses throughout the difficult weeks ahead within Tier 3 restrictions, however the government rejected that offer and imposed Tier 3 on Greater Manchester without a support package confirmed.  It had subsequently become clear that the £60 million offer of support from the government had been based on a formula that they didn’t wish to deviate from, and in the light of that and the potential hardship faced by businesses and residents, the Labour leaders made a decision to accept the government funding offer.

 

It was confirmed that talks were ongoing, but as soon as any details were known, Councillor Wilson undertook to share this members of the Council. 

 

Finally, Councillor Wilson then reported that she was disappointed that the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework proposals were not able to be considered by the Council Meeting this evening, and that members had received an email with an updated timetable.

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance (Councillor Tom McGee) reported that he had previously stated his aim that the Council wouldn't need to engage in an emergency budget because of the implications and the impact on services, staff and residents.  Councillor McGee stated that the Council had received a number of grants from the government including infection control grants, hardship funds and the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund that had bolstered the Council’s position for this financial year.  Further funding would also become available once the borough entered Tier 3 restrictions.  Councillor McGee further outlined the range of support that the Council was offering to communities in Stockport through this difficult time.

 

Councillor McGee stated that while the Council’s financial position was relatively stable for the current financial year, there remained concerns about the future with regard to demographic changes and further loss of income coupled with increased expenditure that would mean careful consideration would need to be given to the use of reserves, grants, council tax revenue and savings for the next financial year.

 

The Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus & Engagement (Councillor Kate Butler) reported that NK Theatre Arts based at Romiley Forum,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.(i)

5.(ii)

Questions

To answer questions from Councillors addressed to the Cabinet Leader or other members of the Cabinet, in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 11.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Devolution; the Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance; and the Cabinet Members for Citizen Focus & Engagement, Children, Family Services & Education, Economy & Regeneration, Inclusive Neighbourhoods and Sustainable Stockport answered questions and responded to comments relating to the business of the Cabinet in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 11.

5.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To receive the Minutes of the Cabinet held on 28 September and 6 October 2020 (pages) and the record of executive decisions taken since the last Council Meeting, (schedule enclosed, decisions previously circulated) and consider any recommendations they contain.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor declared the Minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 28 September and 6 October 2020 (copies of which had been circulated) and the record of executive decisions taken (copies of which were circulated) since the last meeting of the Council to be duly received.

6.

Scrutiny

To receive a report from the Chairs of the Scrutiny Committees on the conduct of Scrutiny business.

Additional documents:

6.(i)

Scrutiny Business

To receive a report from the Chairs of the Scrutiny Committees on the conduct of Scrutiny business.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no reports from the Chairs of the Scrutiny Committees on the conduct of their business since the last Council Meeting.

6.(ii)

Questions

To answer questions from Councillors addressed to the Scrutiny Chairs, in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 11.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no questions relating to the business of the Scrutiny Committees in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 11.

6.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To receive the Minutes of the following Scrutiny Committees:-

 

Adult Social Care & Health – 24 September 2020

Children & Families – 23 September 2020

Communities & Housing – 21 September 2020

Corporate, Resource Management & Governance – 22 September 2020

Economy & Regeneration – 24 September 2020

Scrutiny Co-ordination – 5 October 2020

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor declared the Minutes of the following Scrutiny Committees (copies of which had been circulated with the Summons) to be duly received:-

 

Adult Social Care & Health – 24 September 2020

Children & Families – 23 September 2020

Communities & Housing – 21 September 2020

Corporate, Resource Management & Governance – 22 September 2020

Economy & Regeneration – 24 September 2020

Scrutiny Co-ordination – 5 October 2020           

7.

Ordinary and Area Committees

Additional documents:

7.(i)

Regulatory Business

To receive a report from the Chairs of the Planning & Highways Regulation; Licensing, Environment & Safety; and Audit Committees on the conduct of their business since the last Council Meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no reports from the Chairs of the Planning and Highways Regulation, Licensing, Environment and Safety or Audit Committees on the conduct of their business since the last Council Meeting.

7.(ii)

Questions

To answer questions from Councillors addressed to the Chairs of Ordinary and Area Committees, in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 11.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no questions relating to the business of the Ordinary, Area and Ward Committees in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 11.

7.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To receive the minutes of the following Ordinary and Area Committees:-

 

Ordinary Committees

 

Audit – 9 September 2020

Health & Wellbeing Board – 23 September 2020

Licensing, Environment & Safety – 9 September 2020

Licensing, Environment & Safety Sub – 8 October 2020

Planning & Highways Regulation – 10 September 2020

 

Area Committees

 

Bramhall & Cheadle Hulme South – 1 October 2020

Central Stockport – 1 October 2020

Cheadle – 29 September 2020

Heatons & Reddish – 30 September 2020

Marple – 30 September 2020

Stepping Hill – 29 September 2020

Werneth – 28 September 2020

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor declared the Minutes of the following Ordinary and Area Committees (copies of which had been circulated with the Summons) to be duly received:-

 

Ordinary Committees

 

Audit – 9 September 2020

Health & Wellbeing Board – 23 September 2020

Licensing, Environment & Safety – 9 September 2020

Licensing, Environment & Safety Sub – 8 October 2020

Planning & Highways Regulation – 10 September 2020

 

Area Committees

 

Bramhall & Cheadle Hulme South – 1 October 2020

Central Stockport – 1 October 2020

Cheadle – 29 September 2020

Heatons & Reddish – 30 September 2020

Marple – 30 September 2020

Stepping Hill – 29 September 2020

Werneth – 28 September 2020

8.

Motions - Notice of which have been given under Council Meeting Procedure Rule 12

Additional documents:

8.(i)

Re-opening Stockport Central Library and transparency about any future closure plans pdf icon PDF 206 KB

This council meeting notes:

 

·           that Stockport Central Library is currently closed due to COVID and the need for social distancing; and

·           the mixed messages coming from the Cabinet regarding whether there are plans for this closure to become permanent, arising from the recent consultation on opening the One Stockport Hub in Merseyway.

 

This council meeting further notes that the much-loved Stockport Central Library:

 

·           was built during 1913 and 1914, following a Carnegie endowment totalling £15,000, equivalent to over £1.2m today;this amount was 50% higher than the original offer, following a design submission by Bradshaw, Gass and Hope in Bolton that the Carnegie Assessor determined was worthy of a “premium”, subject to Stockport funding and building a branch library elsewhere in the town for £2,000 (£161k today); and

·           the building was given Grade II listing in April 2017 as “a good example of civic architecture”, with “a strong, well-proportioned composition”, “a mature example of free-Classicism”, and “as a good example of a Carnegie library” with a “prominent contribution to the streetscape, and group-value with other listed civic buildings in close proximity”.

 

This council meeting welcomes recent clarification that there are no current plans to permanently cease library services from the Central Library, but notes no long term assurance has been given about possible future use of this important site and shares residents’ concerns that the library may not re-open.

 

Notwithstanding the warm words said about the architectural importance of the building by the Cabinet, and accepting that provision may need to be interrupted at present due to COVID, this council meeting believes that a commitment is needed for the provision of publically-accessible library services to continue in our Central Library unless and until any alternative plans are made public and there has been a proper and transparent public consultation.

 

This council meeting therefore resolves:

 

·           to re-open Stockport Central Library as soon as social distancing restrictions have been removed; and

·           not to permanently close or remove library services from Stockport Central Library unless and until there has been a proper public consultation that makes this intention clear and sets out the alternative plans for the building so that Stockport residents can have their say.

 

Moved by:      Councillor Iain Roberts

Seconded by:           Councillor Louise Ankers

Additional documents:

Minutes:

MOVED AND SECONDED - This council meeting notes:

 

·         that Stockport Central Library is currently closed due to COVID and the need for social distancing; and

·         the mixed messages coming from the Cabinet regarding whether there are plans for this closure to become permanent, arising from the recent consultation on opening the One Stockport Hub in Merseyway.

 

This council meeting further notes that the much-loved Stockport Central Library:

 

·         was built during 1913 and 1914, following a Carnegie endowment totalling £15,000, equivalent to over £1.2m today;this amount was 50% higher than the original offer, following a design submission by Bradshaw, Gass and Hope in Bolton that the Carnegie Assessor determined was worthy of a “premium”, subject to Stockport funding and building a branch library elsewhere in the town for £2,000 (£161k today); and

·         the building was given Grade II listing in April 2017 as “a good example of civic architecture”, with “a strong, well-proportioned composition”, “a mature example of free-Classicism”, and “as a good example of a Carnegie library” with a “prominent contribution to the streetscape, and group-value with other listed civic buildings in close proximity”.

 

This council meeting welcomes recent clarification that there are no current plans to permanently cease library services from the Central Library, but notes no long term assurance has been given about possible future use of this important site and shares residents’ concerns that the library may not re-open.

 

Notwithstanding the warm words said about the architectural importance of the building by the Cabinet, and accepting that provision may need to be interrupted at present due to COVID, this council meeting believes that a commitment is needed for the provision of publically-accessible library services to continue in our Central Library unless and until any alternative plans are made public and there has been a proper and transparent public consultation.

 

This council meeting therefore resolves:

 

·         to re-open Stockport Central Library as soon as social distancing restrictions have been removed; and

·         not to permanently close or remove library services from Stockport Central Library unless and until there has been a proper public consultation that makes this intention clear and sets out the alternative plans for the building so that Stockport residents can have their say.

 

AMENDMENT MOVED AND SECONDED - This council meeting notes that the much-loved Stockport Central Library:

 

·           is currently closed due to COVID and the need for social distancing;

·           was built during 1913 and 1914, following a Carnegie endowment totalling £15,000, equivalent to over £1.2m today;

·           this amount was 50% higher than the original offer, following a design submission by Bradshaw, Gass and Hope in Bolton that the Carnegie Assessor determined was worthy of a “premium”, subject to Stockport funding and building a branch library elsewhere in the town for £2,000 (£161k today); and

·           the building was given Grade II listing in April 2017 as “a good example of civic architecture”, with “a strong, well-proportioned composition”, “a mature example of free-Classicism”, and “as a good example of a Carnegie library” with a “prominent contribution to the streetscape, and group-value with other listed civic buildings in close proximity”.

 

This council meeting further notes:

 

·           the extraordinary circumstances created by the covid-19 pandemic that has seen library and book usage fall to 15% of pre covid demand and PC usage to 23%;

·           the widespread operational challenges in delivering services in a covid secure manner, which has resulted in 11 fte library staff being redeployed to the contact centre to manage Test and Trace calls and library calls and emails;

·           that recruitment is currently underway for a number of vacant library posts; and

·           the prior acknowledgement of the outstanding job our front line and key workers have done to deliver services in such difficult circumstances

 

This council further recognises:

 

·           the council’s commitment to not close a single library over the past decade despite having to make over £120 million worth of budget reductions;

·           this administration’s commitment to maintaining  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.(i)

9.

Council Meeting Procedure Rule 9 (Duration of Meeting)Council Meeting Procedure Rule 9 (Duration of Meeting)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At this stage in the proceedings (10.00 pm) the Mayor informed the Council Meeting that the provisions of Council Meeting Procedure Rule 9.1 (Duration of Meeting) would be invoked unless the Council Meeting wished the meeting to continue.

 

RESOLVED – (57 for, 4 against) That the provisions of Council Meeting Procedure Rule 9.1 relating to the duration of (Council) meetings be duly invoked.

10.

Motions - Notice of which have been given under Council Meeting Procedure Rule 12 (continued)

Additional documents:

10.(i)

Re-opening Stockport Central Library and transparency about any future closure plans (continued)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Upon the amendment being put to the vote:-

 

For the amendment 25, against 35, abstentions 1.

 

AMENDMENT NOT CARRIED

 

The original motion was then put to the vote and it was

 

RESOLVED – (37 for, 24 abstentions) This council meeting notes:

 

·         that Stockport Central Library is currently closed due to COVID and the need for social distancing; and

·         the mixed messages coming from the Cabinet regarding whether there are plans for this closure to become permanent, arising from the recent consultation on opening the One Stockport Hub in Merseyway.

 

This council meeting further notes that the much-loved Stockport Central Library:

 

·         was built during 1913 and 1914, following a Carnegie endowment totalling £15,000, equivalent to over £1.2m today;this amount was 50% higher than the original offer, following a design submission by Bradshaw, Gass and Hope in Bolton that the Carnegie Assessor determined was worthy of a “premium”, subject to Stockport funding and building a branch library elsewhere in the town for £2,000 (£161k today); and

·         the building was given Grade II listing in April 2017 as “a good example of civic architecture”, with “a strong, well-proportioned composition”, “a mature example of free-Classicism”, and “as a good example of a Carnegie library” with a “prominent contribution to the streetscape, and group-value with other listed civic buildings in close proximity”.

 

This council meeting welcomes recent clarification that there are no current plans to permanently cease library services from the Central Library, but notes no long term assurance has been given about possible future use of this important site and shares residents’ concerns that the library may not re-open.

 

Notwithstanding the warm words said about the architectural importance of the building by the Cabinet, and accepting that provision may need to be interrupted at present due to COVID, this council meeting believes that a commitment is needed for the provision of publically-accessible library services to continue in our Central Library unless and until any alternative plans are made public and there has been a proper and transparent public consultation.

 

This council meeting therefore resolves:

 

·         to re-open Stockport Central Library as soon as social distancing restrictions have been removed; and

·         not to permanently close or remove library services from Stockport Central Library unless and until there has been a proper public consultation that makes this intention clear and sets out the alternative plans for the building so that Stockport residents can have their say.