Agenda and minutes

Communities & Housing Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 30th July, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Damian Eaton  (0161 474 3207)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 2 July 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 2 July 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

2.

Declarations of Interest

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

No declarations were made.

3.

Call-In

To consider call-in items (if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no call-in items to consider.

 

4.

Stockport Homes - Charity Report pdf icon PDF 77 KB

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

 

The report details a proposal from Stockport Homes to establish a charitable subsidiary within the Stockport Homes Group structure.

 

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

 

Officer contact: Andy Kippax on 0161 474 4319 or email: andy.kippax@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration and the Chief Executive of Stockport Homes submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing a proposal from Stockport Homes to establish a charitable subsidiary within the Stockport Homes Group structure.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities & Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) also attended the meeting to respond to councillors’ questions.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         It was commented that the proposal was an excellent idea which had been under consideration for a number of years and would provide the opportunity to bring additional funding into housing in the Borough which would otherwise not be available.

·         The costs of running the new charitable subsidiary would be more than covered by the additional funding brought into the organisation.  It was further stated that the cost of running the charitable organisation was attributed to existing officers’ time rather any new or additional costs, but had been included within the report to provide an accurate reflection of the projected cost of operating the subsidiary.

·         It was queried whether the creation of a new charitable subsidiary would result in the organisation making competing bids for the same funding streams as other housing providers in Stockport who already had charitable operations.  In response it was stated that this was not the intention, and that Stockport Homes worked closely with other housing providers in the Stockport Housing Partnership.

·         Any surpluses that were created would be reinvested in the charitable organisation.

·         It was commented that there were a number of areas of activity that the Council was no longer able to engage in as a result of the ongoing reductions to local authority funding, and the work of Stockport Homes to tackle anti-social behaviour and provide activities for young people was welcomed.  It was suggested that any additional activity in this area that might be possible through the operation of a charitable subsidiary would be welcomed.

·         Concern was expressed that the Council working in conjunction with Stockport Homes to establish a charitable subsidiary constituted a top-down intervention which would fail to bring capacity to the third sector and which would compete for the same funding.  It was suggested that that ultimately this would undermine the value and growth of the sector in Stockport.  In response it was stated that Stockport Homes already undertook a number of activities to help and promote charities in the Borough, and the intention in developing a charitable subsidiary was to bring in money that otherwise not be there rather than to compete with existing charitable organisations.

·         It was commented that it would be reasonable for the aims of the charitable subsidiary to be widened to make provision for additional support to the third sector.

·         It had been identified in the report that there was a risk around the decisions of charitable subsidiary coming into conflict with the policy direction of the Council or Stockport Homes, however there was insufficient detail on how this might be mitigated against.

·         Stockport Homes was, in a number of areas, actively working to fill the void being left by reductions in local authority budgets and it was unfortunate that it had become necessary to create a charitable subsidiary, part of whose remit would be to relieve poverty, relieve food poverty and develop digital skills.

·         The third sector in Stockport was currently unable to handle the scale of the issues that were facing the Borough and work needed to be done to build additional capacity in this area which would include Stockport Homes helping those organisations to secure funding and the potential use of Stockport Homes’ infrastructure.

·         Recruitment to the Board of Trustees for the charitable subsidiary would be by way of an open advertisement.

·         The proposed aims of the charitable subsidiary were broadly right and concept was an innovative approach to targeting and assisting some of Stockport Homes’ most disadvantaged customers.

·         The proposed governance model  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Portfolio Performance and Resources 2018/19 - First Update Report pdf icon PDF 85 KB

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

 

The First Update Portfolio Performance and Resource Report for the Communities and Housing Portfolio is presented for consideration by the Committee. This provides a summary of progress in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programme and other key projects in the first quarter of the year (April to June). It includes forecast performance and financial data (where this is available) for the Portfolio, along with an update on the portfolio savings programme.

 

It is the first report to be based on the 2018/19 Portfolio Performance and Resource Agreement. These were considered by the Committee on 2 July and approved by Cabinet on 17 July.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to:-

 

·         Consider the First Update Portfolio Performance and Resource Report;  

·         Review the progress against delivering key projects, priority outcomes, targets and budgets for 2018/19;

·         Highlight key areas of and responsibility for taking forward corrective action to address any performance or resource issues;

·         Highlight any significant issues or changes to be fed back to the Cabinet alongside the Corporate Performance and Resource Report;

·         Identify how areas of strong performance and good practice can be shared in other services.

 

Officer contact: Alan Lawson on 0161 474 5397 or email: alan.lawson@stockport.gov.uk / Kora Yohannan on 0161 474 4032 or email: kora.yohannan@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing a summary of progress in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programme and other key projects in the first quarter of the year (April to June). The report also included a forecast performance and financial data for the Portfolio, along with an update on the portfolio savings programme.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) attended the meeting to present the report and respond to councillors’ questions.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         The number of private properties empty for more than 12 months continued to fall due to the proactive work of the Housing Standards Team.

·         The work of officers to increase the availability of affordable housing in the Borough was welcomed.

·         The use of technology when tackling environmental issues such as fly-tipping and dog waste was discussed.  It was suggested that the Council should give consideration to the use of covert cameras in hot-spot areas.

·         In response to a question in relation to the potential to introduce smoke vents in Stockport Homes’ tower blocks as part of new fire safety measures, the Committee was advised that all options to improve fire safety were being investigated as part of the outcomes of the Level 4 fire safety inspections that had been undertaken.

·         The Committee was informed that the GM Clean Air Plan was being actively worked on by Transport for Greater Manchester and the GM Senior Leadership Steering Group was taking responsibility for steering the direction of the preliminary feasibility study. It was explained that everything that could be done at local level would be, however, it was noted that to make a significant difference to air pollution, more fundamental policy changes needed to happen at Government level.

·         It was commented that the development and enhancement of public transport as a viable alternative to private cars needed to be prioritised to help reduce the air pollution problem.

·         In response to a question regarding the availability of sufficient numbers of properties for young disabled people, it was explained that ground floor accommodation of all multi-level properties that had delivered through Viaduct Housing Partnership were fully adapted.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

6.

Parking and mobile enforcement Policy pdf icon PDF 295 KB

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

 

The report sets out a proposal to introduce a policy to guide the Council’s use of fixed and mobile enforcement cameras for the enforcement of moving traffic regulations. The Cabinet, when agreeing to the Policy, would also be asked to delegated authority to commence the civil enforcement of Bus Lane contraventions throughout Stockport; formalise existing Parking Enforcement procedures within an approved policy ensuring a consistent and transparent approach; and agree to commence camera enforcement of existing parking restriction outside schools (zigzags) and at bus stops.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to comment on the report.

 

Officer contact: Mark Glynn on 0161 474 3700 or email: mark.glynn@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out a proposal to introduce a policy to guide the Council’s use of fixed and mobile enforcement cameras for the enforcement of moving traffic regulations. The Cabinet, when agreeing to the Policy, would also be asked to delegated authority to commence the civil enforcement of Bus Lane contraventions throughout Stockport; formalise existing parking enforcement procedures within an approved policy ensuring a consistent and transparent approach; and agree to commence camera enforcement of existing parking restriction outside schools (zigzags) and at bus stops.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) attended the meeting to present the report and respond to councillors’ questions.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         It was commented that the hours of operation of bus lanes needed to be consistent across the Borough.

·         Bus Lane signage needed to be appropriately maintained to ensure that the restrictions were enforceable.

·         Concern was expressed in relation to the siting of existing bus lane enforcement cameras elsewhere in Greater Manchester which in some cases had been located in places where motorists could be unfairly penalised for encroaching into a Bus Lane.

·         It was explained that the traffic camera used at schools would be mobile.  However, it would not be possible under current regulations for the camera to be covert and the vehicle would be clearly marked as a mobile enforcement vehicle.  It was further reported that the mobile enforcement vehicle could only be used to monitor parking on the white ‘School Keep Clear’ zigzags.

·         A report would be submitted to a future meeting of the Scrutiny Committee to monitor the success of the use of the mobile enforcement vehicle.

·         It was commented that the ‘walking bus’ initiative had proven to be an effective way to mitigate problems associated with parking near schools.

·         It was suggested that a course could be developed which explained the dangers associated with parking near schools as an alternative to the imposition of penalty charge notices.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.


7.

Public Space Protection Order - Responsible Dog Ownership

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on the proposal for a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to promote responsible dog ownership in the Borough. A public consultation had taken place on the proposals and the report included the details of the proposed PSPO along with the background and the results of the consultation.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) attended the meeting to present the report and respond to councillors’ questions.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         It was noted that under the new proposals there was no guarantee every perpetrator would be prosecuted. The intention was to maximise the use of available staff including PCSOs and Civil Enforcement Officers who could issue such notices.

·         In relation to a comment about the value of the public’s assistance in enforcing any public space protection order, it was confirmed that there was a reporting system in place; however, in every case the legal burden of proof needed to be satisfied which meant that robust evidence needed to be provided which was often difficult for a member of the public to provide.

·         Concerns had been raised with the Council that following the imposition of limits in neighbouring local authorities on the number of animals that could be exercised by any individual, Stockport was being used as an alternative location for such activities. 

·         Following a comment in relation to the proposed restriction of four on the number of animals that could be exercised by one person it was stated that that the proposals had been widely consulted on and had been supported by The Dogs Trust and Kennel Club.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

8.

Scrutiny Review Topic Selection - 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider a report of the Democratic Services Manager.

 

The report sets out a suggested process for the selection of scrutiny review topics and an explanation as to how the reviews will be supported.

 

The Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee is invited to comment on the report and subject to those comments refer the report to Scrutiny Committees for consideration.

 

Officer Contact: Stephen Fox on Tel: 0161 474 4306 or email: stephen.fox@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Democratic Services Manager submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out a suggested process for the selection of scrutiny review topics and an explanation as to how the reviews would be supported.  The Committee was invited to choose a topic for their next review.

 

It was noted that at its last meeting on 3 July 2018, the Scrutiny Committee had suggested the following topic areas:-

 

·         How the Council could implement universal design within new housing developments to ensure that housing in the future was accessible for all future residents without the need to undertake subsequent costly adaptations.

·         The potential to undertake a joint review with the Economy & Regeneration Scrutiny

Committee with regard to the impact of ongoing reductions in the extent and frequency of bus services throughout the Borough and the pressing need to develop and enhance bus services to cater for projected increases in housing developments as part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

 

The following comments were then made in relation to these proposals:-

 

·         The Council had limited powers over the routes and frequency of local bus services as these fell within the remit of Transport for Greater Manchester.

·         With regard to the potential for a review relating to the design of future residential developments, it was stated that there was limited influence that the Council could exert as the majority of new properties in the borough were brought forward by private developers.

 

The Chair suggested that an alternative topic area for review may be in relation to the development of the Borough’s District Centres and that undertaking a review of this subject area would be timely as it would coincide with work that was already taking place within the Place Directorate.

 

It was then

 

MOVED AND SECONDED – That the Council Meeting be recommended to include ‘the extent and frequency of bus services throughout the Borough’ within the 2018/19 Scrutiny Work Programme.

 

For the motion 3, against 5.

 

MOTION NOT CARRIED

 

FURTHER MOTION MOVED AND SECONDED - That the Council Meeting be recommended to include ‘District Centres’ within the 2018/19 Scrutiny Work Programme.

 

For the motion 5, against 3.

 

It was then

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the Council Meeting be recommended to include ‘District Centres’ within the 2018/19 Scrutiny Work Programme.

 

(2)  That Councillors Angie Clark, Julian Lewis-Booth, Adrian Nottingham and Andy Sorton be nominated to sit on the proposed scrutiny review panel.

9.

Agenda Planning pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider a report of the Democratic Services Manager.                                                       

 

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

 

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

 

Officer contact: Damian Eaton on 0161 474 3207 or email: damian.eaton@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Democratic Services Manager submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the planned agenda items for the Scrutiny Committee’s next meeting and any relevant Forward Plan items.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.