Agenda and minutes

Council Meeting
Thursday, 17th November, 2011 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Stockport

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

Formalities and Announcements

1.(i)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 22 September 2011.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 22 September 2011 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

1.(ii)

Mayor's Announcements

To receive announcements from the Mayor.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised the Council Meeting that on 23 September 2011 he had opened a new extension to the Southfield House Care Home, Woodford.

 

On 27 September 2011, the Mayor had attended the Stockport Jobs Fair and noted that the large number of exhibitors at the Fair was heartening.

 

The Mayor further reported that he had recently opened a new farm building and dining room at Reddish Vale Technology College and had enjoyed a production of Bugsy Malone at Harrytown Catholic High School on 19 October 2011.

 

On 5 October 2011, the Mayor had visited Manchester Cathedral for the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to St Ann’s Hospice, The Mayor’s Charity for 2011/12.  The award recognised the outstanding achievement of the many volunteers who give up their own time to enhance and improve the quality of life for others.

 

Finally, the Mayor referred to a fashion show event that would be taking place on 18 November 2011 in aid of the Mayor’s Charity and encouraged as many members as possible to attend.

1.(iii)

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.

Minutes:

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

 

The following interests were declared:-

 

Personal Interests

 

Councillor

Interest

 

Stuart Bodsworth

 

Summons Item 4(ii) – ‘Questions on Executive Business’ as a question related to the affairs of Priestnall School of which he was a Governor.

 

Stuart Corris

Any items relating to Stockport Homes as his wife was a member of the Board of Stockport Homes.

 

Daniel Hawthorne

 

Any items relating to Stockport Homes as a member of the Board of Stockport Homes.

 

Anthony O’Neill

Summons Item 7(v) – ‘Motion – Child Poverty’ as a member of LIFE.

 

Paul Porgess

 

Any items relating to Stockport Homes as a member of the Board of Stockport Homes.

 

Maureen Rowles

 

Any items relating to Stockport Homes as a member of the Board of Stockport Homes.

 

2.

Community Engagement

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.

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.

 

Eleven public questions were submitted concerning:-

 

·         Proposals for the construction of all-weather pitches at Peel Moat Leisure Centre for the needs of a proposed housing development and why existing recreation facilities were not being repaired for the benefit of all residents.

 

The Executive Councillor (Leisure) responded that the proposals formed part of the redevelopment plans for that area which had yet to be confirmed and were part of a range of options which were under consideration.

 

·         The number of responses made to the Leisure Strategy consultation.

 

The Executive Councillor (Leisure) advised that figures in relation to the number of responses would be made available following the end of the consultation period.

 

·         Whether the Council had consulted local health providers as part of the consultation on the Leisure Strategy.

 

The Executive Councillor (Leisure) responded that all residents had been invited to respond to the consultation, but that this had not extended to individual invitations to particular persons.

 

·         The rationale for the proposed closure of the Peel Moat Leisure Centre and its implications.

 

The Executive Councillor (Leisure) stated that as part of the consultation, the Council was keen to hear and consider all points of view on the proposals and that all user groups would be part of this process.

 

·         Whether residents of the Heatons were being discriminated against in leisure provision.

 

The Executive Councillor (Leisure) commented that an Equality Impact Assessment would form part of the decision-making process and the Council was committed to ensuring that residents from Priority Areas would be able to access a range of leisure facilities.

 

·         The length of time taken to repair defective lights in the sports hall at Peel Moat Leisure Centre.

 

The Executive Councillor (Leisure) replied that the repairs to the lighting in the centre formed part ongoing repairs which would be completed by 18 November 2011.

 

·         Whether the perceived dilapidation of many leisure centres in the Borough reflected on their management.

 

The Executive Councillor (Leisure) responded that the Council owned a number of buildings and that there was a need to prioritise funds to address those areas of greatest need.  It was further commented that that there was now an opportunity to invest in leisure facilities in the borough to ensure that they were fit for purpose for the future.

 

·         How the closure of Peel Moat Leisure Centre would impact on the ‘green agenda’ as a result of users needing to use vehicular transport to attend alternative facilities.

 

The Executive Councillor (Leisure) advised that many users already used private transport to access Peel Moat Leisure Centre.  However, there would be investigations undertaken in relation to the range of public transport options that would be available to users to get to alternative leisure provision.

 

·         Following the outcome of a judicial review in respect of the abolition of the Offerton Park Parish Council, whether the Council Meeting was aware of perceptions of political opportunism from some groups.

 

The Leader of the Council stated that it would not be unreasonable for some residents to have formed the view that the activities of some political groups in the parish was opportunistic and that those groups needed to form a view on whether they supported or opposed the abolition of the Parish Council.

 

·         What steps were being taken to abolish the Offerton Park Parish Council in the light of fact that this was the wish of the majority of local people.

 

The Leader of the Council responded that a group of ten residents had stood for election in the Parish on the basis of ‘No More Parish, No More Bills’ which would provide an opportunity for residents to express their views on the future of the Offerton Park Parish Council.

 

·         The rationale for the establishment of Stockport Homes and its pension fund liabilities.

 

As  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.(i)

2.(ii)

Petitions and Presentations

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

Minutes:

(a)  One petition was submitted regarding the proposed closure of the Peel Moat Leisure Centre.  A number of questionnaire responses were also submitted as part of the Leisure Strategy consultation.

 

(b) There were no presentations.

2.(iii)

Joint Authorities

(a)       Section 41 Spokespersons

 

The following councillors to answer questions (if any) on the business of the joint authorities:-

 

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority

- Councillor David Wilson

Greater Manchester Police Authority

- Councillor Dave Goddard

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority

- Councillor Chris Gordon

 

(b)       Greater Manchester Combined Authority

 

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

 

Greater Manchester Combined Authority   

- Councillor Dave Goddard

Transport for Greater Manchester Committee

- Councillor Craig Wright

 

Minutes:

(a)       Section 41 Spokespersons

 

Councillors were invited to question the Council’s representatives on Joint Authorities.

 

Councillor Meikle asked where consultations in respect of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Corporate Plan were taking place.

  

Councillor David Wilson agreed to respond in writing to the issues raised by Councillor Meikle.

 

(b)       Greater Manchester Combined Authority

 

Councillors were invited to question the Council’s representatives on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority or the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.

 

Councillor Bellis asked why there had been no opposition from the Liberal Democrat Group in relation to recently announced increases in fares for Metrolink users.

 

Councillor Wright expressed his concern at the rate of increase in fares, but responded that the Liberal Democrat Group had abstained on this issue as a result of the majority that the Labour Group held on the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee which would have been sufficient to override any opposition.

3.

Policy Framework and Budget

3.(i)

Treasury Management and Investments Mid Year Review 2011/12 pdf icon PDF 398 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Corporate and Support Services.

Minutes:

The Executive Councillor (Finance) (Councillor Sue Derbyshire) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the mid-year performance of the Council's Treasury Management function for 2011/12, providing an update on developments in the economy during that period and detailing proposals to make minor revision to the Treasury Management Strategy in light of the changing economic circumstances.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the Treasury Management and Investments Mid Year Review 2011/12 report be received in line with best practice guidelines and that the treasury activity for the first half of the financial year be noted.

 

(2) That approval be given to the changes in the investment criteria of Moody’s cited in paragraph 11.13 and 11.15 and of Fitch as detailed in paragraph 12.6 of the report.

 

(3) That the expected impact of the housing reform proposals on the capital and treasury plans be noted.

4.

Leader's Report and Executive Question Time

4.(i)

Executive Business

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

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council (Councillor Dave Goddard) reported that:-

 

·         He had held discussions with Mr Jo Bamford who had expressed an interest in the acquisition of the former BAe Systems Woodford site in relation to some of the available options for its redevelopment.

·         On 5 October 2011 he had attended the opening of Vale View Primary School which would enhance the fabric of the educational facilities available to young people in Reddish.

·         On 2 November 2011 he had met and had discussions with the Principal of Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College in relation to the future use of the Hibbert Lane campus.

·         On 3 November 2011 he had met with the Leader and Chief Executive of Cheshire East Council to discuss potential future collaborative working.

·         Confirmation had now been received of the route of the Olympic Torch prior to the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  It was further report that the torch would be in various locations in the Borough for four and half hours which would provide an excellent opportunity for local residents to become more involved in sporting activity, and he encouraged members and residents to nominate local people to carry the torch on its route through Stockport.

 

The Executive Councillor (Environment) (Councillor Shan Alexander) reported that:-

 

·         Work had been ongoing in relation to the seizure of illegal fireworks, which had included in excess of 2,000 fireworks being removed from sale in one evening.

·         Over 2,000 counterfeit consumer electrical items and 7,500 illegal cigarettes had been removed from sale.

·         A significant amount of money had been deployed into crime prevention activities through the Safer Stockport Partnership from receipts through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

·         The Community Toilets Scheme had seen further success in Stockport with the introduction of two new facilities in Stockport Town Centre and one in Heald Green.  Further negotiations were taking place with an additional five premises to bring them within the Scheme.  It was commented that the toilets at Stockport Bus Station would now be kept open and that refurbishments would be taking place to the male toilets imminently.

 

The Executive Councillor (Adults and Health) (Councillor John Pantall) reported that:-

 

·         The three former Southern Cross care homes in the Borough had now transferred to the ownership of a new company.

·         The Council and its partners had signed a pledge as part of Alcohol Awareness Week to increase public awareness of the dangers of alcohol and to promote sensible alcohol consumption.

 

The Executive Councillor (Leisure) (Councillor John Smith) reported that:-

 

·         He had attended the Greater Manchester Sports Awards at which Stockport had been well represented and had won in two categories and had been highly commended in a third.

·         Athletes from Papua New Guinea would be training in Stockport prior to the 2012 Olympic Games which was testament to the quality of the leisure facilities in the Borough.

·         The Council was working to engage with local residents and encourage sporting activity in the run up to the Games.

4.(ii)

Questions

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

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and the Executive Councillors (Adults and Health), (Children and Young People), (Communities), (Environment), (Finance), (Leisure), (Regeneration) and (Transportation) answered questions in relation to the business of the Executive in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 11.

4.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 34 KB

To receive the Minutes of the Executive held on 3 October and 7 November 2011 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 Executive Meetings on 3 October and 7 November 2011 and the record of Executive Decision taken since the last meeting of the Council to be duly received.

5.

Scrutiny

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

5.(i)

Scrutiny Business

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

Minutes:

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

5.(ii)

Questions

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

Minutes:

In accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 11, Councillor Meikle answered questions as Chair of the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee in relation to the voting on the item in respect of the ‘Review of Charges for Replacement Bins’ at the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee on 3 November 2011.

5.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To receive the Minutes of the following Scrutiny Committees:-

 

Adults & Communities – 12 September and 31 October 2011

Children & Young People – 14 September  and 2 November 2011

Corporate, Resource Management & Governance – 20 September and 8 November 2011

Environment & Economy  – 15 September and 3 November 2011

Health – 13 September and 1 November 2011

 

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:-

 

Adults & Communities – 12 September and 31 October 2011

Children & Young People – 14 September  and 2 November 2011

Corporate, Resource Management & Governance – 20 September and 8 November 2011

Environment & Economy  – 15 September and 3 November 2011

Health – 13 September and 1 November 2011

 

6.

Ordinary and Area Committees

6.(i)

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

Minutes:

The Chair of the Planning and Highways Regulation Committee (Councillor Lenny Grice) reported that the National Association for Planning Enforcement had held its Annual General Meeting at Fred Perry House on 10 November 2011, and that this was the first time the organisation had held this meeting in the North of England.  The Association had commented that the event had been a great success and had been oversubscribed and it was hoped that consideration would be given to holding the event in Stockport again in the future.

6.(ii)

Questions

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

Minutes:

In accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 11, Councillor White answered questions as the Chair of the Employment Appeals Committee in respect of the importance of the duties of the chair of that committee.

 

Further, Councillor Burns answered a question as the Chair of the Cheadle Area Committee in relation to the deferral of the consideration of an item relating to consultation on the Local Development Framework – Allocations Development Plan despite the attendance of a number of members of the public.  In response it was stated that the Area Committee had voted to defer the item as it was felt that there was insufficient information before the Area Committee.

6.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 26 KB

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

 

Ordinary Committees

 

Appeals Panel – 22 June 2011

Audit – 28 June and 21 September 2011

Employment Appeals – 3 October 2011

Licensing, Environment & Safety – 12 October 2011

Licensing, Environment & Safety Sub-Committee – 21 September and 4 October 2011

Planning & Highways Regulation – 13 October 2011

Standards – 4 October 2011

 

Area Committees

 

Bramhall & Cheadle Hulme South – 29 September and 27 October 2011

Central Stockport – 29 September and 27 October 2011

Cheadle – 27 September and 25 October 2011

Heatons & Reddish – 26 September and 24 October 2011

Marple – 28 September, 12 October and 26 October 2011

Stepping Hill – 27 September and 25 October 2011

Werneth – 26 September and 24 October 2011

 

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

 

Appeals Panel – 22 June 2011

Audit – 28 June and 21 September 2011

Employment Appeals – 3 October 2011

Licensing, Environment & Safety – 12 October 2011

Licensing, Environment & Safety Sub-Committee – 21 September and 4 October 2011

Planning & Highways Regulation – 13 October 2011

Standards – 4 October 2011

                                                                                   

Area Committees

 

Bramhall& Cheadle Hulme South – 29 September and 27 October 2011   

Central Stockport – 29 September and 27 October 2011

Cheadle – 27 September and 25 October 2011

Heatons& Reddish – 26 September and 24 October 2011

Marple– 28 September, 12 October and 26 October 2011

Stepping Hill – 27 September and 25 October 2011

Werneth– 26 September and 24 October 2011

 

7.

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

7.(i)

Council Tax Freeze

The Council is facing having to make over £30m of savings for this year and next year.  Around £20m of further savings will be required in the following 2 years, 2013/14 and 2014/15.

 

The Coalition Government have announced a Council Tax freeze for 2012/13.  They aim to deliver this by offering Councils a grant equivalent to 2.5% of Council Tax, which is only payable if Council Tax is set at a zero increase.

 

Unlike the offer made by the Coalition Government last year, which allowed the Council to freeze Council Tax for this year in return for compensatory payments every year until 2015, a Conservative minister has now announced that the new grant will be a “one off” payment and will mean that the Council will need to make additional, permanent savings of £3.5m for 2013/14 onwards just to balance the books.

 

The Council recognises the pressure that families are under in the current economic situation and regrets that the Government have chosen to misrepresent this small, one-off, windfall payment to local authorities as a funded Council Tax freeze.

 

The Council has to balance its commitment to giving good value for money to residents with the need to ensure that priority services to vulnerable children and vulnerable adults (which are half of the Council’s controllable budget) are protected. 

 

The Council urges the Government to reconsider its proposals and would suggest that this funding should be provided to Councils by way of a non ring-fenced grant and that Councils determine locally how best to use these “windfall” resources.

 

Should the Government proceed with the Council Tax freeze, then the Council would urge Government to provide a grant equivalent to 2.5% of Council Tax and to ensure that this grant continues in future years.

 

Moved by:                  Cllr Sue Derbyshire

Seconded by:           Cllr Stuart Corris

Minutes:

MOVED AND SECONDED

 

The Council is facing having to make over £30m of savings for this year and next year.  Around £20m of further savings will be required in the following 2 years, 2013/14 and 2014/15.

 

The Coalition Government have announced a Council Tax freeze for 2012/13.  They aim to deliver this by offering Councils a grant equivalent to 2.5% of Council Tax, which is only payable if Council Tax is set at a zero increase.

 

Unlike the offer made by the Coalition Government last year, which allowed the Council to freeze Council Tax for this year in return for compensatory payments every year until 2015, a Conservative minister has now announced that the new grant will be a “one off” payment and will mean that the Council will need to make additional, permanent savings of £3.5m for 2013/14 onwards just to balance the books.

 

The Council recognises the pressure that families are under in the current economic situation and regrets that the Government have chosen to misrepresent this small, one-off, windfall payment to local authorities as a funded Council Tax freeze.

 

The Council has to balance its commitment to giving good value for money to residents with the need to ensure that priority services to vulnerable children and vulnerable adults (which are half of the Council’s controllable budget) are protected. 

 

The Council urges the Government to reconsider its proposals and would suggest that this funding should be provided to Councils by way of a non ring-fenced grant and that Councils determine locally how best to use these “windfall” resources.

 

Should the Government proceed with the Council Tax freeze, then the Council would urge Government to provide a grant equivalent to 2.5% of Council Tax and to ensure that this grant continues in future years.

 

AMENDMENT MOVED AND SECONDED

 

Delete everything after “The Council” and replace with:

 

welcomes the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government’s announcement that a Council Tax freeze grant will be available to local authorities in 2012/13 bringing much needed relief to hard pressed households, including those on fixed incomes.

 

Notes the recent headline “Liberal Democrats freeze Council Tax again” in Liberal Democrat campaigning literature in the Borough announcing that the ruling group on Stockport Council will be accepting the grant and freezing Council Tax for a second year in a row.

 

Expects that, following the precedent set so far this year, the Executive will make their Medium Term Financial Plan and budget adjustments to back the Council Tax freeze available to opposition parties and scrutiny committees at the earliest possible opportunity.”

 

For the amendment 10, against 29.

 

AMENDMENT NOT CARRIED

 

It was then

 

RESOLVED – (32 for, 10 against) The Council is facing having to make over £30m of savings for this year and next year.  Around £20m of further savings will be required in the following 2 years, 2013/14 and 2014/15.

 

The Coalition Government have announced a Council Tax freeze for 2012/13.  They aim to deliver this by offering Councils a grant equivalent to 2.5% of Council Tax, which is only payable if Council Tax is set at a zero increase.

 

Unlike the offer made by the Coalition Government last year, which allowed the Council to freeze Council Tax for this year in return for compensatory payments every year until 2015, a Conservative minister has now announced that the new grant will be a “one off” payment and will mean that the Council will need to make additional, permanent savings of £3.5m for 2013/14 onwards just to balance the books.

 

The Council recognises the pressure that families are under in the current economic situation and regrets that the Government have chosen to misrepresent this small, one-off, windfall payment to local authorities as a funded Council Tax freeze.

 

The Council has to balance its commitment to giving good value for money to residents with the need to ensure that priority services to vulnerable children and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.(i)

7.(ii)

Fire Control Centres

This Council notes the complete failure of the previous Government's policy of forced regionalisation of England's Fire Control centres, closing 46 local centres to be replaced by 9 super-centres. Nearly £500 million has been wasted without answering a single emergency call nor mobilising a single Fire engine.

 

This Council endorses the recent report of the Public Accounts Committee which found the project to be one of the worst failures it has seen and expressed astonishment that no-one has been held to account for this scandalous waste of money.

 

This Council further notes that in October 2005 the Liberal Democrat Group on Greater Manchester's Fire & Rescue Authority tabled a motion expressing that the Authority was “alarmed at the escalating costs of the Regional Control Centres and calls on the Government to halt the project for an independent enquiry into the public funding" and  "we believe that the location of the North West Control Centre should be determined by locally elected members and senior fire officers with local knowledge and experience, rather than by faceless civil servants in London”.

 

This Council believes that instead of claiming civil servants kept him in the dark, Lord Prescott and successive Labour Fire Ministers should take responsibility for the appalling mess they created.

 

This Council believes that the people of Stockport are entitled to have their Fire emergency calls answered by the most efficient and effective Control centre possible.

 

This Council therefore expects its Fire Authority members to continue to work with the Chief Fire Officer to deliver a modern, reformed Control centre for Greater Manchester's residents, and to ensure that all future options are examined carefully to make certain they provide value for money.

 

Moved by:                  Cllr Wendy Meikle

Seconded by:           Cllr Pam King

Minutes:

MOVED AND SECONDED

 

This Council notes the complete failure of the previous Government's policy of forced regionalisation of England's Fire Control centres, closing 46 local centres to be replaced by 9 super-centres. Nearly £500 million has been wasted without answering a single emergency call nor mobilising a single Fire engine.

This Council endorses the recent report of the Public Accounts Committee which found the project to be one of the worst failures it has seen and expressed astonishment that no-one has been held to account for this scandalous waste of money.

This Council further notes that in October 2005 the Liberal Democrat Group on Greater Manchester's Fire & Rescue Authority tabled a motion expressing that the Authority was "alarmed at the escalating costs of the Regional Control Centres and calls on the Government to halt the project for an independent enquiry into the public funding" and  "we believe that the location of the North West Control Centre should be determined by locally elected members and senior fire officers with local knowledge and experience, rather than by faceless civil servants in London”.

This Council believes that instead of claiming civil servants kept him in the dark, Lord Prescott and successive Labour Fire Ministers should take responsibility for the appalling mess they created.

This Council believes that the people of Stockport are entitled to have their Fire emergency calls answered by the most efficient and effective Control centre possible.

 

This Council therefore expects its Fire Authority members to continue to work with the Chief Fire Officer to deliver a modern, reformed Control centre for Greater Manchester's residents, and to ensure that all future options are examined carefully to make certain they provide value for money.

 

AMENDMENT MOVED AND SECONDED

 

Delete all text after “This Council notes” and replace with the following:

 

the concerns within the recent report of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee with regard to the development of Regional Fire Control Centres across the Country.

 

“This Council Meeting welcomes the fact that the previous Government has developed a state-of- the-art Regional Control Centre. This multi-million pound Centre presents a positive opportunity for Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service to develop a modern, efficient and effective Control Centre for the benefit of Greater Manchester and other parts of our region. The new purpose built facility offers a compelling case to provide significant savings and value for money to the taxpayers, and at the same time to provide first class improved service for our residents and the region as a whole.”

 

For the amendment 17, against 38.

 

AMENDMENT NOT CARRIED

 

It was then

 

RESOLVED – (39 for, 17 against) This Council notes the complete failure of the previous Government's policy of forced regionalisation of England's Fire Control centres, closing 46 local centres to be replaced by 9 super-centres. Nearly £500 million has been wasted without answering a single emergency call nor mobilising a single Fire engine.

This Council endorses the recent report of the Public Accounts Committee which found the project to be one of the worst failures it has seen and expressed astonishment that no-one has been held to account for this scandalous waste of money.

This Council further notes that in October 2005 the Liberal Democrat Group on Greater Manchester's Fire & Rescue Authority tabled a motion expressing that the Authority was "alarmed at the escalating costs of the Regional Control Centres and calls on the Government to halt the project for an independent enquiry into the public funding" and  "we believe that the location of the North West Control Centre should be determined by locally elected members and senior fire officers with local knowledge and experience, rather than by faceless civil servants in London”.

This Council believes that instead of claiming civil servants kept him in the dark, Lord Prescott and successive Labour Fire Ministers should take responsibility for the appalling mess they created.

This Council believes that the people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.(ii)

7.(iii)

Cashless Scrap Metal Trade

This Council Meeting notes with great concern the increase in metal theft across our Borough, and the effect of this crime on our community, including on homeowners, businesses, places of worship, community buildings, heritage assets, and infrastructure providers.

 

This Council Meeting welcomes the e-petition launched on the official Government website by Walsall Council calling for a change to the Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964, which would prohibit cash transactions, and make payment by cheque or bank transfer mandatory, providing an audit trail when thefts are detected or stolen or suspect materials are recovered.

 

This Council Meeting therefore requests:

 

·         That the Chief Executive contacts Walsall Council on our behalf, to congratulate them on their initiative, and to explore the possibility of working together on this issue;

·         That the Chief Executive contacts Stockport’s four Members of Parliament, and the Home Secretary, to inform them of our support for this legal change, and to request their support;

·         That the e-petition be publicised on the Council’s website, and in Council publications, along with advice on preventing such thefts, or on measures which may help to identify thieves such as the use of smart water, in partnership with the local Police and other partners; and

·         That a report be taken to Area Committees on current levels of metal thefts, the steps that are being taken to prevent them and to bring those responsible to justice, with the opportunity for members to contribute suggestions and comments, to ensure that Stockport’s response to metal theft is as robust as possible.

 

Moved by:                  Cllr Tom McGee

Seconded by:           Cllr Walter Brett

Minutes:

MOVED AND SECONDED

 

This Council Meeting notes with great concern the increase in metal theft across our Borough, and the effect of this crime on our community, including on homeowners, businesses, places of worship, community buildings, heritage assets, and infrastructure providers.

 

This Council Meeting welcomes the e-petition launched on the official Government website by Walsall Council calling for a change to the Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964, which would prohibit cash transactions, and make payment by cheque or bank transfer mandatory, providing an audit trail when thefts are detected or stolen or suspect materials are recovered.

 

This Council Meeting therefore requests:

 

·           That the Chief Executive contacts Walsall Council on our behalf, to congratulate them on their initiative, and to explore the possibility of working together on this issue;

·           That the Chief Executive contacts Stockport’s four Members of Parliament, and the Home Secretary, to inform them of our support for this legal change, and to request their support;

·           That the e-petition be publicised on the Council’s website, and in Council publications, along with advice on preventing such thefts, or on measures which may help to identify thieves such as the use of smart water, in partnership with the local Police and other partners; and

·           That a report be taken to Area Committees on current levels of metal thefts, the steps that are being taken to prevent them and to bring those responsible to justice, with the opportunity for members to contribute suggestions and comments, to ensure that Stockport’s response to metal theft is as robust as possible.

 

AMENDMENT MOVED AND SECONDED

 

After the second paragraph insert the following:

 

“This Council Meeting also welcomes Early Day Motion 2130, tabled in September by a Liberal Democrat MP, which has support from members of all parties and also calls for cash payments to be made illegal but which goes even further, calling for better recording of transactions and requiring verification of the identity of any person offering scrap metal for sale.

 

This Council Meeting further welcomes Graham Jones MP’s Metal Theft (Prevention) Bill, a private members bill that had its first reading this week and calls for the same measures to be made legal requirements.”

 

In accordance with the provisions of Council Meeting Procedure Rule 14.7 (Alteration of Motion) the mover of the motion agreed to incorporate the amendment within their original motion.  It was then

 

RESOLVED - This Council Meeting notes with great concern the increase in metal theft across our Borough, and the effect of this crime on our community, including on homeowners, businesses, places of worship, community buildings, heritage assets, and infrastructure providers.

 

This Council Meeting welcomes the e-petition launched on the official Government website by Walsall Council calling for a change to the Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964, which would prohibit cash transactions, and make payment by cheque or bank transfer mandatory, providing an audit trail when thefts are detected or stolen or suspect materials are recovered.

 

This Council Meeting also welcomes Early Day Motion 2130, tabled in September by a Liberal Democrat MP, which has support from members of all parties and also calls for cash payments to be made illegal but which goes even further, calling for better recording of transactions and requiring verification of the identity of any person offering scrap metal for sale.

 

This Council Meeting further welcomes Graham Jones MP’s Metal Theft (Prevention) Bill, a private members bill that had its first reading this week and calls for the same measures to be made legal requirements.

 

This Council Meeting therefore requests:

 

·           That the Chief Executive contacts Walsall Council on our behalf, to congratulate them on their initiative, and to explore the possibility of working together on this issue;

·           That the Chief Executive contacts Stockport’s four Members of Parliament, and the Home Secretary, to inform them of our support for this legal change, and to request their support;

·           That the e-petition be publicised on the Council’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.(iii)

7.(iv)

Rail Service Cuts

This Council Meeting is aware that the Stockport Liberal Democrats are currently running a campaign, including a petition and a demonstration, “to stop a proposed reduction of the service at Davenport train station” by the “Labour-run Transport for Greater Manchester”.

 

However, this Council Meeting notes that no such service cut is proposed by Transport for Greater Manchester, or by the train operators, meaning that the current service level is under no threat, and therefore that users of Davenport Station are being troubled by a threat that has either been invented to provide content for leaflets, or is at best based on a misunderstanding.

 

This Council Meeting is firmly of the view that rail users across our Borough would be better served by councillors of all Parties joining together to fight real threats and not imagined ones, such as that proposed in the McNulty Report to remove all staff from ‘Class E’ stations, including Brinnington, Woodsmoor, Davenport, Gatley, Heald Green, Heaton Chapel, Reddish North, Bramhall, Bredbury, and Romiley, leaving only vending machines.

 

This Council Meeting believes that staffed ticket offices are vital to maintain safe and well-presented station environments, to ensure good customer service, and to provide assistance to elderly and disabled passengers, and that ideally, staffing hours should be increased, but certainly not cut entirely.

 

This Council Meeting firmly opposes any moves to cut either train services or station staffing within our Borough, and fully supports the campaign against staffing cuts led by the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) as well as the work of groups such as the Friends of Davenport Station, the Friends of Heaton Chapel Station, and the Friends of Reddish South Station, to campaign for high quality rail services, to work with staff to improve station environments, and to provide rail users with news and information.

 

This Council Meeting therefore requests that the Chief Executive writes on our behalf to:

 

·         The Secretary of State for Transport urging her to reject the recommendation in the McNulty Report that staffing be removed – or reduced – at any railway station in this Borough; and

·         Stockport’s four Members of Parliament, and to the Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, setting out our objections to any reduction in staffing at stations in Stockport, and to ask for their support in retaining, or improving the current level of staffing provision at all of Stockport’s railway stations, and in maintaining, or increasing, the current number of trains serving these stations.

 

Moved by:                  Cllr David White

Seconded by:           Cllr Alexander Ganotis

Minutes:

MOVED AND SECONDED

 

This Council Meeting is aware that the Stockport Liberal Democrats are currently running a campaign, including a petition and a demonstration, “to stop a proposed reduction of the service at Davenport train station” by the “Labour-run Transport for Greater Manchester”.

 

However, this Council Meeting notes that no such service cut is proposed by Transport for Greater Manchester, or by the train operators, meaning that the current service level is under no threat, and therefore that users of Davenport Station are being troubled by a threat that has either been invented to provide content for leaflets, or is at best based on a misunderstanding.

 

This Council Meeting is firmly of the view that rail users across our Borough would be better served by councillors of all Parties joining together to fight real threats and not imagined ones, such as that proposed in the McNulty Report to remove all staff from ‘Class E’ stations, including Brinnington, Woodsmoor, Davenport, Gatley, Heald Green, Heaton Chapel, Reddish North, Bramhall, Bredbury, and Romiley, leaving only vending machines.

 

This Council Meeting believes that staffed ticket offices are vital to maintain safe and well-presented station environments, to ensure good customer service, and to provide assistance to elderly and disabled passengers, and that ideally, staffing hours should be increased, but certainly not cut entirely.

 

This Council Meeting firmly opposes any moves to cut either train services or station staffing within our Borough, and fully supports the campaign against staffing cuts led by the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) as well as the work of groups such as the Friends of Davenport Station, the Friends of Heaton Chapel Station, and the Friends of Reddish South Station, to campaign for high quality rail services, to work with staff to improve station environments, and to provide rail users with news and information.

 

This Council Meeting therefore requests that the Chief Executive writes on our behalf to:

 

·         The Secretary of State for Transport urging her to reject the recommendation in the McNulty Report that staffing be removed – or reduced – at any railway station in this Borough; and

·         Stockport’s four Members of Parliament, and to the Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, setting out our objections to any reduction in staffing at stations in Stockport, and to ask for their support in retaining, or improving the current level of staffing provision at all of Stockport’s railway stations, and in maintaining, or increasing, the current number of trains serving these stations.

 

AMENDMENT MOVED AND SECONDED

 

Delete all after “This Council meeting” and replace with:

 

notes:

 

·         The good work being done by Stockport Council in campaigning for improvements to train services across Stockport; and

·         that train services are an essential part of Stockport’s transport infrastructure because 6.8 million people use Stockport’s stations every year, that 21% of all Greater Manchester heavy rail stations are in Stockport, that Stockport station is the rail-head of choice for 1.2 million people across South Manchester, North Cheshire and the High Peak and that the 2.8 million annual users make Stockport Station the fourth best used station in Greater Manchester.

 

This Council meeting further notes:

 

·         The work done by the SE Manchester Community Rail Partnership (SEMcrp), jointly funded by Stockport, Tameside and Manchester in promoting rail travel on the Marple and Glossop corridors, in particular from areas of high deprivation such as Brinnington and Hattersley; and

·         that SEMcrp has already helped form Friends groups at Romiley, Brinnington and Hattersley stations and is supporting the campaign for a new rail service from Stockport to Manchester Victoria via Reddish South and Denton.

 

This Council meeting resolves to continue to support the campaigning work of our officers and representatives in gaining further improvements to our train services, most notably:

 

·         To welcome the cascade of additional rolling stock to the North, directed by the Coalition Government,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.(iv)

7.(v)

Child Poverty

This Council Meeting:

 

·         Acknowledges that Child Poverty is a high priority for this Council, and that its strategy was recently updated to reflect the requirements of the Labour Government’s Child Poverty Act 2010, legislation which was passed with all-party support;

·         Is pleased that the issue Child Poverty in our Borough is now receiving more attention, after severe criticism from the Audit Commission in the 2009 Comprehensive Area Assessment, in which Stockport was given a “red flag” for failing to do enough to help our poorest communities;

·         Notes that according to this Council’s own figures, 15.2% of all children and young people in Stockport currently live in poverty; and

·         Further notes that since Stockport is a highly polarised Borough, with very poor and very prosperous areas, strong overall performance compared to national and regional averages tends to mask severe problems in our most deprived areas and in particular ‘pockets’ of poverty.

 

Given the above, it is of great concern to this Council Meeting that as a direct result of Coalition Government policies, this strategy is under threat from:

 

·      The abolition of Educational Maintenance Allowances;

·      The loss of certain targeted grants to fund the Pupil Premium resulting in funding cuts for some schools serving our most disadvantaged communities;

·      Rising unemployment, with a disproportionate effect on Stockport’s most disadvantaged wards;

·      The impact of “readiness for work” testing for those on Income Support and disability benefits;

·      The effective withdrawal of Council Youth Services from many areas of our Borough; and

·      The introduction of the non ring-fenced Early Intervention Grant, which represents an 11% (or £50 per Stockport child) reduction on its predecessor grants, resulting in the current proposals to downgrade Sure Start provision and centres across the Borough.

 

This Council Meeting further notes the respected and independent Institute for Fiscal Studies’ October 2011 report “Child and Working Age Poverty and Inequality in UK: 2010” which forecasts that child poverty will continue to rise significantly over the next decade, along with what it describes as “an unprecedented collapse in living standards” brought about by high inflation and weak earnings growth.

 

This Council Meeting therefore requests the Executive Councillor (Children & Young People) to commission an urgent review of Stockport’s Child Poverty Strategy to take full account of the impact of these Coalition Government policies, and to develop measures to respond effectively to issues identified by the review, with the full involvement of the appropriate Scrutiny Committee.

 

Moved by:                  Cllr Andrew Verdeille

Seconded by:           Cllr Paul Moss

 

Minutes:

MOVED AND SECONDED

 

This Council Meeting:

 

·         Acknowledges that Child Poverty is a high priority for this Council, and that its strategy was recently updated to reflect the requirements of the Labour Government’s Child Poverty Act 2010, legislation which was passed with all-party support;

·         Is pleased that the issue Child Poverty in our Borough is now receiving more attention, after severe criticism from the Audit Commission in the 2009 Comprehensive Area Assessment, in which Stockport was given a “red flag” for failing to do enough to help our poorest communities;

·         Notes that according to this Council’s own figures, 15.2% of all children and young people in Stockport currently live in poverty; and

·         Further notes that since Stockport is a highly polarised Borough, with very poor and very prosperous areas, strong overall performance compared to national and regional averages tends to mask severe problems in our most deprived areas and in particular ‘pockets’ of poverty.

 

Given the above, it is of great concern to this Council Meeting that as a direct result of Coalition Government policies, this strategy is under threat from:

 

·      The abolition of Educational Maintenance Allowances;

·      The loss of certain targeted grants to fund the Pupil Premium resulting in funding cuts for some schools serving our most disadvantaged communities;

·      Rising unemployment, with a disproportionate effect on Stockport’s most disadvantaged wards;

·      The impact of “readiness for work” testing for those on Income Support and disability benefits;

·      The effective withdrawal of Council Youth Services from many areas of our Borough; and

·      The introduction of the non ring-fenced Early Intervention Grant, which represents an 11% (or £50 per Stockport child) reduction on its predecessor grants, resulting in the current proposals to downgrade Sure Start provision and centres across the Borough.

 

This Council Meeting further notes the respected and independent Institute for Fiscal Studies’ October 2011 report “Child and Working Age Poverty and Inequality in UK: 2010” which forecasts that child poverty will continue to rise significantly over the next decade, along with what it describes as “an unprecedented collapse in living standards” brought about by high inflation and weak earnings growth.

 

This Council Meeting therefore requests the Executive Councillor (Children & Young People) to commission an urgent review of Stockport’s Child Poverty Strategy to take full account of the impact of these Coalition Government policies, and to develop measures to respond effectively to issues identified by the review, with the full involvement of the appropriate Scrutiny Committee.

 

AMENDMENT MOVED AND SECONDED

 

Delete all after “This Council Meeting:” and replace with:

·         acknowledges that tackling Child Poverty has always been a high priority for this Council, despite the levels in Stockport being significantly lower than the National, Greater Manchester, or North-West averages;

·         acknowledges that, in its Comprehensive Area Assessment in 2009, the Audit Commission gave the public sector and other partners in Stockport a “red flag” for not improving the life chances of residents in poor neighbourhoods fast enough;

·         notes that the Audit Commission’s report stated that solutions to this problem are difficult and highlighted the good work this Council was already doing, but called upon partners to work more closely together; and

·         notes that this Council took a lead by creating a shared senior management post with the local Primary Care Trust and continues to work hard to bring all partners together in tackling inequalities and other priorities that cut across the public sector.

 

This Council Meeting also:

 

·         acknowledges the very difficult financial situation that the country now finds itself in, and notes that Alistair Darling, the former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, regrets that his government failed to act over bank regulation, the growing deficit in public finances and a looming recession in their final years of office;

·         notes that, despite their efforts over 13 years to reduce inequalities, the gap between rich and poor was wider when Labour left office;

·         recalls that on 12th August this year, Ed Milliband, the current  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.(v)

8.

Council Meeting Procedure Rule 9 (Duration of Meeting)

Minutes:

At this stage in the proceedings (10.00 pm) the provisions of Council Meeting Procedure Rule 9.1 (Duration of Meeting) were invoked.

9.

Motions - Notice of which had been given under Council Meeting Procedure Rule 12 (Continued)

9.(i)

Child Poverty (Continued)

Minutes:

The amendment was then put as the substantive motion and it was

 

RESOLVED – (38 for) This Council Meeting:

·         acknowledges that tackling Child Poverty has always been a high priority for this Council, despite the levels in Stockport being significantly lower than the National, Greater Manchester, or North-West averages;

·         acknowledges that, in its Comprehensive Area Assessment in 2009, the Audit Commission gave the public sector and other partners in Stockport a “red flag” for not improving the life chances of residents in poor neighbourhoods fast enough;

·         notes that the Audit Commission’s report stated that solutions to this problem are difficult and highlighted the good work this Council was already doing, but called upon partners to work more closely together; and

·         notes that this Council took a lead by creating a shared senior management post with the local Primary Care Trust and continues to work hard to bring all partners together in tackling inequalities and other priorities that cut across the public sector.

 

This Council Meeting also:

 

·         acknowledges the very difficult financial situation that the country now finds itself in, and notes that Alistair Darling, the former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, regrets that his government failed to act over bank regulation, the growing deficit in public finances and a looming recession in their final years of office;

·         notes that, despite their efforts over 13 years to reduce inequalities, the gap between rich and poor was wider when Labour left office;

·         recalls that on 12th August this year, Ed Milliband, the current Leader of the Labour Party, speaking on the Radio 4 ‘Today Programme’, said “I deeply regret that inequality wasn’t reduced under the last Labour government”;

·         regrets that the coalition government have had to introduce a whole range of measures to reduce the deficit in public finances and, in particular, the need for this Council to find around £50m of savings over 4 years; and

·         regrets any negative impacts on relative poverty levels within the borough caused by cuts in Government spending.

 

However, this Council Meeting acknowledges the efforts made by the Council through its budget processes to:

 

·         protect the needs of the most vulnerable groups in our Borough by continuing to prioritise services to those groups;

·         use the funds that are available to the best effect by, for example, targeting Youth Services to early intervention withthose young people most at risk of failing to achieve their potential, including those that live in our most disadvantaged communities;

·         continue supporting the wider economic growth of the Borough through a wide range of initiatives focussing on some of the most disadvantaged areas, including a recent investment of £0.5m to help to regenerate the Town Centre.

 

This Council Meeting:

 

·         recognises that the move to focus on early intervention work with children and families is likely to have a positive impact on reducing child poverty and addressing inequality across the borough;  

·         notes the involvement of the Children & Young People’s Scrutiny Committee in formulating Stockport’s Child Poverty Strategy, which was adopted with all-party support in April;

·         notes that this Strategy comes due for its annual review next April; and

·         recognises that it is not the role of Executive Members to commission Scrutiny Reviews.

 

This Council Meeting therefore calls on the Children & Young People’s Scrutiny Committee to consider whether a review of this recent Strategy is needed and, if so, for them to determine how to conduct this.

10.

Greater Manchester Road Activity Permit Scheme (GMRAPS) pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director of Place.

Minutes:

A report (copies of which had been circulated) of the Corporate Director of Place was submitted detailing proposals for the establishment of a joint arrangement in connection with the Greater Manchester Road Activity Permit Scheme between Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Transport for Greater Manchester and the nine Greater Manchester Authorities and seeking agreement for delegation approval to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That approval be given in principle to the areas of delegation to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in respect of the proposed Greater Manchester Road Activity Permit Scheme as detailed in paragraphs 2.2.1 to 2.2.6 of the report, and authority be delegated to the Service Director (Legal and Democratic Services), in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Executive Councillor (Transportation), to agree the final nature of the delegations and to conclude any further remaining detail.

 

(2) That approval be given to the establishment of a joint arrangement with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee and the other nine district local authorities in Greater Manchester in respect of the proposed Greater Manchester Road Activity Permit Scheme.

 

(3) That the Service Director (Legal and Democratic Services), in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Executive Councillor (Transportation), be authorised to make any consequential amendments to the Council’s Constitution upon the progression and implementation of the Scheme.

11.

Review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations pdf icon PDF 19 KB

To consider a report of the Service Director (Legal and Democratic Services).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report (copies of which had been circulated) of the Service Director (Legal and Democratic Services) was submitted detailing proposals for changes to Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations by Area Committee areas.

 

RESOLVED – That the proposed changes to polling districts, polling places and polling stations detailed in the report be approved.