Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Review Panel - Stockport’s Communal Corridors: Securing the safety, cleanliness and biodiversity - Tuesday, 5th December, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 5, Town Hall. View directions


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 249 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2023.

Additional documents:


The Minute (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 5 October 2023 were approved as a correct record.


Declarations of Interest

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

Additional documents:


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.


Street Cleansing, Drainage, Gullies and Grids pdf icon PDF 699 KB

To consider reports of the Director of Place Management.


These reports set out the council's activities related to street cleansing, drainage, gullies and grids.


The panel is recommended to comment upon these reports.


Officer contact: Sue Stevenson on 0161 474 4351 or email


Additional documents:


The Director of Place Management submitted reports (copies of which had been circulated) which set out the council's activities related to street cleansing, drainage, gullies and grids.


The following comments were made/ issues raised:-


·         It was reported that in previous years the gully emptying service had reached a point when it had been purely responsive which meant that a number of gullies were never cleared.

·         A three-year programme had been developed and implemented to visit every gully in the borough. The programme was part-way through its second year and some gullies had yet to be visited. Approximately 50 to 60 gullies were visited per day and data was obtained from each on how much silt was collected. This data would enable the service to implement a prioritised approach in the future by determining which gullies would require cleaning more frequently. 

·         The three-year programme was designed to run two consecutive processes, those being ongoing maintenance and repair of gullies.

·         The three-year programme approached gully cleansing by splitting each ward in the borough into three sections. In designing the programme, roads were packaged in areas where it was possible to get the most effective use of the gully cleansing vehicles. The first two years of the programme had focussed predominantly on main routes and had included six-monthly and annual visits to certain areas with flooding issues.

·         It was reported that the effects of climate change, in particular more episodes of heavy rain, had resulted in more frequent episodes of ponding. The gullies were not faulty but were a Victorian system which was not designed to cope with modern levels of rain. Double gullies had been installed in particularly problematic areas.

·         The gully vehicles contained trackers which recorded which gullies had been visited, the levels of silt collected, which gullies were defective and those which were inaccessible.

·         In terms of risk assessment, the Council had data on particular trouble-spots where there were ongoing issues and frequent reports of flooding. 

·         An online form was available for residents to report flooding and there was a balance to be struck, in terms of dealing with residents’ concerns and diverting resources from the three-year proactive programme.

·         In terms of the data on gully cleansing, it was difficult to provide numbers in terms of visits to gullies by ward because of access issues. The service was able to report that approximately 92 per cent of gullies had been cleaned in the borough.

·         Regarding the priority in terms of repairing faulty gullies, many factors were taken into account including the likelihood of flooding and the road use.

·         There were 72,000 gullies in the borough and more were added whenever new housing was built.

·         It would be possible to provide members with a full set of data on grids, cleansing frequency and repairs at the conclusion of the three-year cleansing programme. In terms of ward-based data in particular, the provision of more granular data at this stage, part way through the programme might give a skewed reflection on the activity of the service.

·         It was reported that ad hoc work related to gullies was carried out by a specialist provider, particularly during flood events. Members would be provided with statistics on the use of specialist operators.

·         During lockdown, the drivers of the gully cleansing vehicles had been redeployed to bin collection services which had caused a delay to the programme.

·         It was predicted that, having visited most gullies within the borough, next year (2024) should represent a second visit for most gullies. It would be easier to clean those gullies, as they would have less build up of silt which would, therefore, be quicker to clean and the numbers cleansed would be increase.

·         It was anticipated that the three-year cycle for the gully cleansing programme would be completed in April 2025 and at that point the operational plan would be reviewed and risks modelled.

·         Members commented that residents’ perception of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.