Agenda and minutes

Informal, Economy & Regeneration Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 20th January, 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Webcast - Remote Meeting. View directions

Contact: David Clee  (0161 474 3137)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 25 November 2021 were approved as a correct record.

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 of interest were made.

3.

Exclusion of the Public and the Public Interest Test

To consider whether it is in the public interest to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the following item:

 

Item

Title

Reason

 

 

 

8

Merseyway Car Park Maintenance and Refurbishment

Category 3 ‘Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority)’ as set out in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That in order to prevent the disclosure of information which was not for publication relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority) as set out in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, the disclosure of which would not be in the public interest, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of exempt information in the ‘not for publication’ appendix to agenda item 8 - Merseyway Car Park Maintenance and Refurbishment.

 

 

4.

Call-In

To consider call-in items (if any).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items for call-in.

5.

Responding to our Medium-Term Financial Plan pdf icon PDF 173 KB

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

 

The Cabinet has previously set out its approach to responding to the opportunities, challenges and uncertainty outlined within the review of the medium-term financial plan at its meeting on 21st September 2021. This was shared for further discussion and comment with scrutiny committees in October 2021.

 

Following these discussions further development of proposals have been undertaken and these are now being shared again with Scrutiny for comment and consideration.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is requested to comment on the proposals within the four business cases alongside feedback from consultation and equalities analysis.

 

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Development and Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on the Cabinet’s proposed approach to responding to the opportunities, challenges and uncertainty outlined within the review of the Medium Term Financial Plan presented at the Cabinet meeting on the 21 September 2021.  The Scrutiny Committee had been provided with an opportunity to make initial comments on the proposals at its meeting in October 2021.  Following these discussions further development of the proposals had been undertaken and these were now being shared again with the Committee for comment and consideration.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economy & Regeneration (Councillor David Meller) attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Scrutiny Committee.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

·         The Scrutiny Committee debated Key Project 6 in the Robust Corporate Governance Programme with regard to a proposed increase in the income target charge uplift across a number of areas, for example the lease of electronic billboard sites on major routes and in the town centre. Concern was raised as to whether the use of electronic billboards aligned with the Council’s ‘green’ agenda. Members were advised that there was an expectation that electronic billboards would be energy efficient and they were generally extremely energy efficient, dependent on their source of energy. The Director agreed to provide further information on the efficiency of electronic billboards, their source of energy and any impact they may have on light pollution from light emitted from the boards.

·         It was suggested that an exercise be undertaken on the Council’s energy sources to ensure energy was supplied in the most efficient way.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

6.

Portfolio Dashboard

The Scrutiny Committee has the opportunity to consider the portfolio dashboards for the Economy and Regeneration Portfolio and raise any issues with regard to performance.

 

Members can view the portfolio dashboard by visiting the following page:-

 

Economy & Regeneration Portfolio Dashboard

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the portfolio dashboard for the Economy and Regeneration Portfolio, the link to which was provided on the agenda front sheet.

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

The following comments were made issues/raised:-

·         Members noted that the data (Quarter 2) contained within the dashboard had previously been considered by the Committee.

·         In relation to the work and skills dashboards, concerns were raised over performance indicators E&R 5.1 regarding Young People employed via Stockport Steps to Work and Kickstart and E&R 5.3 regarding the Youth Employment Hub which were below the targets, and how this could be addressed. Members were advised that, unfortunately, take up on the Kickstart programme had been lower than expected and that this was reflected in the programme nationally. The Council was continuing to promote the programme to increase uptake. Regarding the Youth Employment Hub, Members noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had changed the landscape which had impacted on the service and meant that a realistic target for this indicator had been difficult to set. Members would be updated on what the Council was doing to improve the youth employment target at the next meeting of the Committee.

·         A query was raised with regards to occupancy rates in the town centre and an article that had recently been published in the local press. Members were reassured that it was not the case that there were large numbers of empty units as suggested. It was noted that there were discrepancies in the article with regard to where the data had come from and how it had been calculated. The Council used an accredited data source to calculate occupancy rates.

·         It was suggested that the relevant dashboard title be added to the relevant performance measure page.

·         With regard to district centres, it was noted that the first meeting of the Scrutiny Review Panel established to focus on reviewing Stockport’s District Centres post Covid-19 pandemic was scheduled to take place on 14 February 2022. It was noted that additional Officers had been recruited to the Development and Regeneration team whose work would focus solely on district centres. It was suggested that the Panel look at how to engage other Ward Members and gain their views as part of the review.

7.

Agenda Planning pdf icon PDF 117 KB

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

 

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

 

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

           

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Strategic Head of Service & Monitoring Officer (Legal & Democratic Governance) 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.

It was suggested that the following items be added to the work programme:

·         Active Neighbourhoods; and

·         the Kickstart scheme and youth training, including apprenticeships.

RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted.

(2) That the Director of Place Management and the Director of Development & Regeneration be requested to submit reports on Active Neighbourhoods and the Kickstart scheme and youth training, including apprenticeships, to future meetings of the Committee.

 

Item including information 'Not for Publication'

Additional documents:

8.

Merseyway Car Park Maintenance and Refurbishment pdf icon PDF 253 KB

To consider a report of the Director of Place Management

 

The report sets out proposals to undertake structural repairs to the Merseyway Multi-Storey Car Park to prevent further structural deterioration, ensure the safety of users, protect the car parking revenue stream and halt water ingress to retail units below the car park structure.

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Development and Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out proposals to undertake structural repairs to the Merseyway Multi-Storey Car Park to prevent further structural deterioration, ensure the safety of users, protect the car parking revenue stream and halt water ingress to retail units below the car park structure. A map of car park zones at Merseyway was attached at Appendix 1.

Members were advised that it was appropriate to invest in the car park at this moment in time so as to maintain its structural integrity, Waterproofing works were expected to take place over the next two summers and works would avoid times of high usage, for instance Christmas time, so as to not affect occupancy rates.

 

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

 

(NOTE: The report contained a confidential appendix that has been circulated to Members of the Scrutiny Committee only).

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

·         A query was raised as to whether electric charging points could be installed at the same time as the proposed works, and it was advised that there were plans to install electric charging points as part of the works. Funding had been received to support the installation and it was expected that approximately 15 – 20 electric charging points would be installed at the site. The installation of solar panels were also being incorporated into the project works.

·         Concern was raised with regards to the timing of the works given that the works were now urgent. Members were advised that the Council had sought to achieve the greatest amount of economic life out of the structure in order to stretch the value of the work that had previously been carried out. It was noted that the cost of the works was unchanged to that if the works had been undertaken three or four years ago.

·         It was asked whether, as part of the project, the number and placement of disabled spaces were being reviewed. Members were reassured that the disabled spaces would be of national standards, and an increase in the number of spaces was anticipated. Consultants were assessing where disabled spaces would be best placed, including near to the lift and the proposed Stockroom building.  In addition, Officers would ensure that any changes to the Debenhams site would not impact on access to the car park.

·         In response to a Member’s question, it was clarified that, when the Merseyway centre was previously in third party ownership, a percentage of the rent from the centre was paid to the Council by way of a ground lease.

·         It was confirmed that there would be loading and unloading areas at the site, as well as at Chestergate.

RESOLVED - That the report be noted.