Agenda and minutes

Council Meeting - Thursday, 18th January, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Craig Ainsworth  (0161 474 3204)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Formalities and Announcements

Additional documents:

1.(i)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 30 November 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting of the Council held on 30 November 2017 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

1.(ii)

Urgent Decisions

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No urgent decisions were reported.

1.(iii)

Mayor's Announcements

To receive announcements from the Mayor.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With deep regret, the Mayor referred to the recent death of the Leader of Tameside Council, Councillor Kieran Quinn, who passed away on Monday, 25 December 2017.  The Mayor stated that Councillor Quinn was first elected to Tameside Council in 1994 and became the Executive Leader in 2010 as well as being Chair of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

 

The Mayor invited all those present to stand in silence as a mark of respect to the memory of Councillor Quinn.

 

The Mayor reported that she had experienced a short period of illness in late November and extended her thanks to the Deputy Mayor for his chairmanship of the last meeting of the Council Meeting in her absence.

 

The Mayor then reported that since the last meeting of the Council Meeting she had attended a large number of events including Remembrance Sunday and the unveiling of a memorial in honour of Royal Marine James Conway at Mount Tabor. 

 

The Mayor commented that she had attended a number of Christmas services including a televised Christmas Carol Concert from St Elisabeth’s Church, Reddish which was broadcast on ITV1 on Christmas Eve.

 

The Mayor then stated that she had recently attended the opening of the Seed Community Café which was based in Marple Methodist Church and commended its work in improving community links and ending social isolation.

1.(iv)

Declarations of Interest

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The following interests were declared:-

 

Personal and Prejudicial

 

Councillor

Interest

 

 

Wendy Wild

Summons Item 3(i) – ‘Council Tax and Business Rates Discounts Annual Review’ as a Trustee of Chelwood Foodbank who may potentially eligible for Business Rates Discounts.

 

Councillor Wild left the meeting during consideration of this item and took no part in the discussion or vote.

 

2.

Community Engagement

Additional documents:

2.(i)

Public Question Time

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

8 public questions were submitted as follows:-

 

(a)       Relating to the safety of Stepping Hill Hospital in the light of recent press reports on the current situation in the hospital’s accident and emergency department, ongoing pressure on beds and difficulties in staff recruitment.

 

The Cabinet Member for Health (Councillor Tom McGee) responded that there was a severe pressure across all health economies in the UK and that Stockport was no different in this respect.  It was further commented that while Stepping Hill Hospital had seen an increase since in attendances in the accident and emergency department of 3.9% over the same period last year, the hospital had not declared a ‘black alert’ as many others throughout the country had done.

 

(b)       Relating to the impact of proposed increases in charges for non-residential services and whether this constituted an attack on the concept of the social wage.

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care (Councillor Wendy Wild) responded that the Council was considering changing its charging policy for home care day services, extra care housing and telecare and was currently consulting on those proposals. It was stated that the proposed increases were set in the context of an adult social care financial assessment process and the Council would continue to assess people's financial circumstances before determining what they would actually pay.  Councillor Wild commented that the Council was committed to protecting people from the impact of high costs of care in Stockport so were proposed to keep an upper limit.  Finally, Councillor Wild stated that the demand for non-residential services funded by the Council continued to increase, while funding from central government has reduced and additional funding was needed to support adult social care and keep it on a sustainable footing.

 

(c)        Relating to when the Council found out that there were no relevant announced opportunities to apply for funding for the A6 to M60 Relief Road in December 2017 or June 2018.

 

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) responded that the windows for submitting large major schemes were December 2017 and June 2018 and that the Council had requested £500,000 from the Department for Transport within the required window and would continue to push hard for an early decision.

 

(d)       Relating to whether in the light of current levels of bed occupancy at Stepping Hill Hospital frequently being reported as being above the upper safe limit of 85%, would the Council accept that including hospital bed closures in the Stockport Together Business Case to save money was the height of folly.

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care (Councillor Wendy Wild) responded that the Stockport Together Business Cases reflected a well thought-out strategy to reduce the number of hospital admissions by investing in community alternatives.  The Stockport together plans had stated very clearly that stringent tests would be used before triggering any bed reductions and that it was envisaged that the local health care system’s normal response would be for more planned care and crisis intervention being delivered at a neighbourhood level. 

 

(e)       Relating to a lack of awareness amongst NHS staff and health professionals of Stockport Together.

 

The Cabinet Member for Health (Councillor Tom McGee) responded that there had been extensive communications across the major partners in Stockport Together which has included briefings, articles in in-house publications, intranet based publicity along with discussion and engagement sessions.  Councillor McGee undertook to discuss the matter further with the various communications teams to ensure that information relating to Stockport Together was being appropriately disseminated. 

 

(f)        Relating to the robustness of the consultation on the Stockport Together proposals and whether details of how the consultation  ...  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.

 

No such arrangements have been made for this meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no petitions or 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 Waste Disposal Authority

- Councillor Roy Driver

 

(b)       Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel

 

Councillor Wendy Wild to answer questions (if any) on the business of the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel.

 

(c)       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 Alex Ganotis

Transport for Greater Manchester Committee

- Councillor John Taylor

Fire Committee

- Councillor Walter Brett

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)       Section 41 Spokespersons

 

There were no questions in relation to the business of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority.

 

(b)       Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel

 

There were no questions in relation to the business of the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel.

 

(c)       Greater Manchester Combined Authority

 

Councillor Oliver Johnstone commented that when the Park and Ride facility was built in Hazel Grove, it had been suggested that there would be the potential to run different service models out of Hazel Grove along the A6 corridor.  Councillor Johnstone stated that it was therefore disappointing that Stagecoach had withdrawn the daytime X92 ‘express’ service due to the aggressive and unruly behaviour of some passengers getting on or trying to get off in other areas of Stockport and Greater Manchester.  Councillor Johnstone asked whether Councillor Taylor would work with Transport for Greater Manchester and Stagecoach to reinstate the full X92 service and not allow criminal behaviour to dictate access to public transport enjoyed by the law abiding majority.

 

Councillor John Taylor responded that Stagecoach had chosen to run the X92 as commercial service as an experiment.  Councillor Taylor commented that the service had failed to achieve the ambitions of its commercial operator, having found that journey times were not sufficiently improved over the standard 192 service.  Councillor Taylor further commented that Hazel Grove would retain its three early 192 services.

 

Councillor Suzanne Wyatt referred to the ongoing parking problems associated with Stepping Hill Hospital and the difficulties in securing an onsite parking place.  It was commented that the hospital had encouraged visitors to use the park and ride facility in Hazel Grove, however unlike some southbound 192 services, those travelling north did not enter the hospital site, and visitors were required to take a lengthy walk to get to the hospital.  Councillor Wyatt asked if Councillor Taylor would work with TfGM and Stagecoach to develop a satisfactory solution to the issue of access to Stepping Hill Hospital.

 

Councillor Taylor responded that while he agreed with the premise of the question, the service patterns and routes of commercial services were not within the direct control of Transport for Greater Manchester.  However, Councillor Taylor undertook to take the matter forward and work with the Council’s other representatives on TfGM to persuade Stagecoach to improve access to Stepping Hill Hospital.

 

Councillor John Pantall whether in light of a number of commercial bus services being withdrawn in Stockport, whether Transport for Greater Manchester would be able to provide additional marketing, publicity and promotion for bus services.

 

Councillor John Taylor responded that until the implementation of the Bus Bill the powers of Transport for Greater Manchester with regard to the regulation of commercial services was limited.

3.

Policy Framework and Budget

Additional documents:

3.(i)

Council Tax and Business Rates Discounts Annual Review pdf icon PDF 329 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Reform and Governance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance (Councillor David Sedgwick) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the annual review the local scheme of Discounts and Exemptions which are available in respect of Business Rates and Council Tax.

 

 

RESOLVED - That approval be given to the following in respect of Council Tax and Business Rates Discounts and Exemptions:-

 

(1) That the  Community Amateur Sports Club Top-up scheme be continued for the year 2018/19, enabling Community Amateur Sports Clubs to achieve 100% relief from Non-Domestic Rates, provided they meet the qualifying criteria at Appendix 2.

 

(2) That Charity Relief remains limited to the 80% Mandatory Relief for the year 2018/19.

 

(3) That Rural Rate Relief continues to be limited to 50% Mandatory Relief for the year 2018/19 and should any village shops be established in the future then additional discretionary relief should be awarded up to 100%.

 

(4) That Stockport’s scheme for Discretionary Business Rate Relief post revaluation be maintained for year two and calculated as 35% of the increase in rates payable.

 

(5) That the 50% discount and qualifying criteria for Not for Profit organisations be maintained for the year 2018/19.

 

(6) That the local improvement scheme for the Town and District Centres be discontinued for 2018/19.

 

(7) That the local scheme for large businesses which are new to the Borough or those undergoing significant expansion in the Borough be continued for 2018/19.

 

(8) That the continuation of a case by case approach for Business Rates discounts where exceptional circumstances exist be continued for 2018/19. It is unlikely that Exceptional Circumstances Relief would be awarded to an organisation which was in receipt of support from the Council, either grant funded or commissioned.

 

(9) That the current scheme for Council Tax empty property discounts is maintained for 2018/19 as detailed at para 4.3.2 above and a review of Class D entitlement be carried out during 2018/19.

 

(10) That any Council Tax liability for care leavers up to the age of 21 and up to the age of 25 for those in full time education be reduced to zero for 2018/19.

 

(11) That Stockport’s Council Tax Support scheme is maintained for 2018/19 as detailed at Appendix 5.

 

(12) That the time limits for Universal Credit recipients making a claim for Council Tax Support be extended from one month to 6 weeks.

 

(13) That Bereavement Support Allowance be disregarded in the calculation of Council Tax Support for 2018/19 in line with Housing Benefit and Universal Credit regulations.

 

(14) That approval be given to refresh the Council Tax Support discretionary fund to £100k for 2018/19, supporting customers facing financial difficulty, with no alternative means.

 

(15) That the 2018/19 Council Tax Taxbase for budget setting purposes of

93,361.2 Band D equivalent properties is approved.

4.

Leader's Report and Cabinet Question Time

Additional documents:

4.(i)

Cabinet Business

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council  and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis), further to the earlier comments made by the Mayor, paid tribute to Councillor Kieran Quinn who passed away on 25 December 2017.  Councillor Ganotis stated that Councillor Quinn had been deeply committed to Tameside and the wider Greater Manchester area and that Councillor Quinn was proud of the role that he played in making the Combined Authority what it was today.

 

Councillor Ganotis then reported that the Cabinet had given its approval to the non-pooled budget proposals December 2017, save for that element which related to changes to parking charges which would be subject to further discussion with councillors and the public.  Councillor Ganotis stated that the Cabinet was determined to come up with a proposal which was both fair, stood up to scrutiny and could command wide support whilst still meeting the objective of increase the level of income into the Council whilst not hampering the economic viability of the town centre and district centres.

 

It was further reported that there was a deficit in the Children and Family Services budget which was largely due to the increasing numbers of children who were being looked after by the local authority and associated significant increases in the price of residential care.  Current forecasts suggested that there would be an outturn deficit of approximately £4 million for the portfolio by the end of the financial year.  Work was ongoing to eliminate that deficit through the use of one-off resources, however it was likely that there would need to be an increase in the revenue budget for the Children and Family Services portfolio in order that there could be greater confidence that the Council could meet the ongoing challenges in this area.

 

Councillor Ganotis announced that local government employers had outlined  a proposed two-year pay deal for council and school support staff which proposed a 2% rise in April 2018 for the majority of staff currently earning more than £19,430, and a further 2% in April 2019.  Although the trade unions had not yet confirmed their agreement to the offer, in order to ensure that the Council was prepared for the next financial year, financial modelling was being undertaken which incorporated the proposed 2% increase.  Councillor Ganotis stated that the offer was good news for Council employees and was something many members had been campaigning for, however the increase would not be funded by the government and would need to be funded from within existing Council resources which would amount to a further circa £1 million pressure on the Council’s budget.

 

Finally, Councillor Ganotis reported that the Provisional Local Government Settlement announced just before Christmas made provision for increases in Council Tax by a further 1%, up to 5.99%, without the requirement for a referendum which indicated that the government was increasingly expecting shortfalls in local government spending to be made up by residents themselves through Council Tax.  Councillor Ganotis confirmed, however, that work was taking place to try and accommodate the extra financial pressures the Council was under within the previously announced 4.99% increase without the need to use the additional tax raising powers proposed in the Settlement. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration (Councillor Kate Butler) reported on the opening of the Redrock development in November 2017 and confirmed that the development was now 90% let with tenants reporting better than expected trading figures.  It was confirmed that Berretto Lounge was due to open on 24 January 2018 which would be shortly followed by the Gym Group.

 

Councillor Butler then reported that the Holiday Inn at the Stockport Exchange development had celebrated its first year of trading and had been performing extremely well.  It was stated that customer feedback ranked the hotel as one of the best rated hotels in Europe.

 

It was further reported that the nominees for the City Life Food  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.(i)

4.(ii)

Questions

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council  and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance & Devolution; the Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care; and the Cabinet Members for Communities & Housing, Economy & Regeneration, Education, Health and Reform & Governance  answered questions relating to the business of the Executive in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 11.

4.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To receive the Minutes of the Cabinet held on 19 December 2017 and 17 January 2018 and the record of executive decisions taken since the last Council Meeting, (schedule enclosed, decisions previously circulated) and consider any recommendations they contain.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor declared the Minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 19 December 2017 and 17 January 2018 (copies of which had been circulated) and the record of executive decision taken (copies of which were circulated) 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.

Additional documents:

5.(i)

Scrutiny Business

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

5.(ii)

Questions

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

5.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To receive the Minutes of the following Scrutiny Committees:-

 

Adult Social Care & Health – 28 November 2017

Children & Families – 6 December 2017

Communities & Housing – 4 December 2017

Corporate, Resource Management & Governance – 5 December 2017

Economy & Regeneration – 7 December 2017

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Adult Social Care & Health – 28 November 2017

Children & Families – 6 December 2017

Communities & Housing – 4 December 2017

Corporate, Resource Management & Governance – 5 December 2017

Economy & Regeneration – 7 December 2017

6.

Ordinary, Area and Ward Committees

Additional documents:

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

6.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 42 KB

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

 

Ordinary Committees

 

Appeals Panel – 18 December 2017

Appointments – 12 December 2017

Licensing, Environment & Safety – 22 November 2017 (ordinary), 22 November 2017 (extraordinary) and 6 December 2017

Member –18 December 2017

Planning & Highways Regulation – 23 November 2017

 

Area Committees

 

Bramhall & Cheadle Hulme South – 14 December 2017

Central Stockport – 14 December 2017

Cheadle – 12 December 2017

Heatons & Reddish – 11 December 2017

Marple – 13 December 2017

Stepping Hill – 12 December 2017

Werneth – 11 December 2017

 

Ward Committee

 

Brinnington & Reddish Joint – 20 November 2017

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 – 18 December 2017

Appointments – 12 December 2017

Licensing, Environment & Safety – 22 November 2017 (ordinary), 22 November 2017 (extraordinary) and 6 December 2017

Member –18 December 2017

Planning & Highways Regulation – 23 November 2017

 

Area Committees

 

Bramhall & Cheadle Hulme South – 14 December 2017

Central Stockport – 14 December 2017

Cheadle – 12 December 2017

Heatons & Reddish – 11 December 2017

Marple – 13 December 2017

Stepping Hill – 12 December 2017

Werneth – 11 December 2017

 

Ward Committee

 

Brinnington & Reddish Joint – 20 November 2017

7.

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

Additional documents:

7.(i)

Education Funding pdf icon PDF 93 KB

This Council notes that during the March 2017 Council meeting, this council unanimously supported a motion calling on the Secretary of State for Education to:

 

·         ensure the budget for Schools is kept in line with inflation from the year 2015;

·         ensure the Government’s policy commitments to the apprenticeship levy, national living wage and pension contributions in schools are fully funded by national Government;

·         commission a comprehensive review of education funding covering ages 0-19;

·         publish the methodology used to calculate the costs of running a school.

 

This Council notes, however that:

 

·         the government has, since that time, failed to deliver on any of these four points;

·         despite a revised funding formula, Stockport pupils still attract £1000 per pupil/per year less than other Local Authorities;

·         the Dedicated Schools Grant will increase by the equivalent of 0.5% per pupil from April 2018, but with inflation currently at 3%, schools, high needs and early years blocks are facing annual real-terms cuts of 2.5%;

·         until the time of the next planned general election in 2022, this could result in cuts to schools’ budgets of 15%;

·         Stockport schools have already reported they are not replacing staff when they leave, and unless this issue is urgently addressed, schools in every ward could be forced to cut more teachers and support staff to balance their budgets.

 

This Council meeting therefore resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Education asking him to:

 

·         Urgently ensure the true cost of education provision is reflected in the funding provided to Stockport schools, high needs and early years blocks.

 

Moved by:                  Councillor Dean Fitzpatrick                    

Seconded by:            Councillor Elise Wilson

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – (47 for, 11 abstentions) This Council notes that during the March 2017 Council meeting, this council unanimously supported a motion calling on the Secretary of State for Education to:

 

·         ensure the budget for Schools is kept in line with inflation from the year 2015;

·         ensure the Government’s policy commitments to the apprenticeship levy, national living wage and pension contributions in schools are fully funded by national Government;

·         commission a comprehensive review of education funding covering ages 0-19;

·         publish the methodology used to calculate the costs of running a school.

 

This Council notes, however that:

 

·         the government has, since that time, failed to deliver on any of these four points;

·         despite a revised funding formula, Stockport pupils still attract £1000 per pupil/per year less than other Local Authorities;

·         the Dedicated Schools Grant will increase by the equivalent of 0.5% per pupil from April 2018, but with inflation currently at 3%, schools, high needs and early years blocks are facing annual real-terms cuts of 2.5%;

·         until the time of the next planned general election in 2022, this could result in cuts to schools’ budgets of 15%;

·         Stockport schools have already reported they are not replacing staff when they leave, and unless this issue is urgently addressed, schools in every ward could be forced to cut more teachers and support staff to balance their budgets.

 

This Council meeting therefore resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Education asking him to:

 

·         Urgently ensure the true cost of education provision is reflected in the funding provided to Stockport schools, high needs and early years blocks.

7.(ii)

Deeds not words: the centenary of votes for women

This Council Meeting notes:

 

·         that February 2018 is the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, 1918, which enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time;

·         that July  2018 is the 90th anniversary of the Equal Franchise Act 1928, which gave women the right to vote at age 21 on the same terms as men; and

·          that these were the first steps towards gender equality in this country, following a growing realisation of the part women should play in society, given their invaluable role in the war efforts of 1914-18.

 

This Council Meeting further notes:

 

·         The Suffrage to Citizenship Project by the Women’s Local Government Society, a voluntary, cross-party organisation seeking to recruit further women into local government;

·         That the Project intends to celebrate the centenary of women’s suffrage by commemorating 100 women and supportive men as suffrage pioneers who worked tirelessly in suffrage campaigns, leading to the 1918 Act, and who used extended rights to citizenship in a positive way by serving as elected councillors, magistrates, on school and public health boards, or by otherwise taking a lead in their local community;

·         That this is being done in an attempt to inspire a new generation of activists to become more involved in politics and society at all levels; and

·         That Gertrude Powicke of Romiley has been nominated as one of the 100 suffrage pioneers. 

 

This Council Meeting notes with regret that:

 

·         Only a third of Stockport Councillors are women;

·         Stockport Council has only ever had one woman leader since its formation in 1974 and there are a very small number of female Council Leaders nationally;

·         This has led to a disproportionate lack of female representation at the GM Combined Authority, further compounded by a relative lack of female nominations to GM Scrutiny Committees; and

·         A third of the wards across Stockport have all-male Councillors, some being all of the same political party.

 

This Council Meeting notes the motion brought by Councillors Elise Wilson and Becky Crawford in September 2017, highlighting the Fawcett Society report “Does Local Government Work for Women”, calling for more support for women councillors, and which received unanimous support from those present.

 

This Council Meeting believes that encouraging even wider participation by women would be an appropriate way to mark the centenary of the start of women’s suffrage.

 

This Council Meeting resolves to note the centenary of the first steps towards gender equality marked by the Representation of the People Act 1918 and to note the contribution to the women’s suffrage movement made before this by local women, such as Gertrude Powicke.

 

This Council Meeting encourages our library, communication and museum and arts teams to work together on a programme of celebrations to mark this centenary.

 

This Council Meeting further resolves to encourage:

 

·         Political Groups across Stockport to continue to consider gender balance across their Groups even more carefully than they have in the past when selecting candidates for what they consider to be winnable wards with a view to moving closer towards an even balance of male and female Councillorsacross the Borough;

·         Those in leadership roles within Political Groups to actively seek out talented candidates and councillors of the future from under-represented groups;

·         More women Councillors to seek their Group’s nomination to all roles that they are interested in and which they believe they could contribute to, particularly on outside bodies; and

·          Political Groups to feed back to their Greater Manchester colleagues the need for more gender diversity in making nominations, particularly to bodies such as the GM Scrutiny Committees, and generally making them aware of this motion and encouraging them to emulate it in their respective Council areas.

 

Moved by:                  Councillor Lisa Smart

Seconded by:            Councillor Sue Ingham

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED - This Council Meeting notes:

 

·         that February 2018 is the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, 1918, which enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time;

·         that July  2018 is the 90th anniversary of the Equal Franchise Act 1928, which gave women the right to vote at age 21 on the same terms as men; and

·          that these were the first steps towards gender equality in this country, following a growing realisation of the part women should play in society, given their invaluable role in the war efforts of 1914-18.

 

This Council Meeting further notes:

 

·         The Suffrage to Citizenship Project by the Women’s Local Government Society, a voluntary, cross-party organisation seeking to recruit further women into local government;

·         That the Project intends to celebrate the centenary of women’s suffrage by commemorating 100 women and supportive men as suffrage pioneers who worked tirelessly in suffrage campaigns, leading to the 1918 Act, and who used extended rights to citizenship in a positive way by serving as elected councillors, magistrates, on school and public health boards, or by otherwise taking a lead in their local community;

·         That this is being done in an attempt to inspire a new generation of activists to become more involved in politics and society at all levels; and

·         That Gertrude Powicke of Romiley has been nominated as one of the 100 suffrage pioneers. 

 

This Council Meeting notes with regret that:

 

·         Only a third of Stockport Councillors are women;

·         Stockport Council has only ever had one woman leader since its formation in 1974 and there are a very small number of female Council Leaders nationally;

·         This has led to a disproportionate lack of female representation at the GM Combined Authority, further compounded by a relative lack of female nominations to GM Scrutiny Committees; and

·         A third of the wards across Stockport have all-male Councillors, some being all of the same political party.

 

This Council Meeting notes the motion brought by Councillors Elise Wilson and Becky Crawford in September 2017, highlighting the Fawcett Society report “Does Local Government Work for Women”, calling for more support for women councillors, and which received unanimous support from those present.

 

This Council Meeting believes that encouraging even wider participation by women would be an appropriate way to mark the centenary of the start of women’s suffrage.

 

This Council Meeting resolves to note the centenary of the first steps towards gender equality marked by the Representation of the People Act 1918 and to note the contribution to the women’s suffrage movement made before this by local women, such as Gertrude Powicke.

 

This Council Meeting encourages our library, communication and museum and arts teams to work together on a programme of celebrations to mark this centenary.

 

This Council Meeting further resolves to encourage:

 

·         Political Groups across Stockport to continue to consider gender balance across their Groups even more carefully than they have in the past when selecting candidates for what they consider to be winnable wards with a view to moving closer towards an even balance of male and female Councillorsacross the Borough;

·         Those in leadership roles within Political Groups to actively seek out talented candidates and councillors of the future from under-represented groups;

·         More women Councillors to seek their Group’s nomination to all roles that they are interested in and which they believe they could contribute to, particularly on outside bodies; and

·          Political Groups to feed back to their Greater Manchester colleagues the need for more gender diversity in making nominations, particularly to bodies such as the GM Scrutiny Committees, and generally making them aware of this motion and encouraging them to emulate it in their respective Council areas.

7.(iii)

Elections for everyone: responding to the Electoral Commission report on the experiences of people with disabilities when registering to vote and voting

This Council Meeting notes the report “Elections for everyone: Experiences of people with disabilities at the 8 June 2017 UK Parliamentary General Election”, published by the Electoral Commission, which looks at registering to vote and voting from the view of someone with a disability, and which calls for the following to help make elections more accessible for everyone:

 

·         There should be no barriers to voting for people with a disability;

·         Everyone should have a right to vote on their own and in secret;

·         People with disabilities need to know that they can vote and can have support to vote;

·         Care and support workers need to know how they can support the people the care for when they vote;

·         People running elections need to understand the needs of people with disabilities so they can support them and make it easy for them to register to vote and to vote;

·         Candidates and parties should make sure information is in easy to read formats and available in good time before the election so people have the time to read it;

·         Manifestos in accessible formats should be published at the same time as the original version so that people with a disability have as much time as anyone else to understand what the parties stand for; and

·         The government should look at different ways that people with disabilities can vote so that they have greater flexibility and choice.

 

This Council Meeting further notes the specific problems faced by those with a sight impairment, as highlighted in the report “Turned Out 2017: Why the UK voting system must change so blind and partially sighted voters can be in sole control of their right to a secret ballot”, published by the Royal National Institute for the Blind, which calls for:

 

·         Replacement of the current Tactile Voting Device (TVD)  with a new accessible voting system that guarantees blind and partially sighted voters can review the candidates on the ballot paper themselves, reliably find and mark their chosen candidate on the official ballot paper and be in sole control of the secrecy of their vote without any assistance;

·         Guarantee all blind and partially sighted voters can get their legal right to vote without any assistance and in secret by eradicating the current breakdowns in the system, empowering blind and partially sighted people to vote on the same terms as everyone else, and changing the culture of accessible voting from routinely intervening to assist blind and partially sighted voters to not having to assist; and

·         By the 2022 General Election, to provide an online and/or telephone option for blind and partially sighted people to cast their vote independently and in secret if they aren’t able to vote at their polling station.

 

This Council Meeting recognises the recent call for evidence made by the Cabinet Office, seeking to support the government’s commitment to ensure the electoral system is accessible to all electors, which closed in November 2017, and looks forward to the consequent report due in Spring 2018.

 

This Council Meeting believes it is fundamental to democracy that everyone who is entitled to vote can register to vote and actually cast their vote secretly, regardless of any disability, and that national and local government should do all it can to ensure that any barriers preventing this are removed.

 

This Council Meeting therefore resolves to ask the Chief Executive to:

 

·         Conduct a thorough review of this council’s electoral registration and voting processes in liaison with Stockport Disability Forum, with a view to identify and remove all barriers to voter registration and voting which are within this council’s power;

·         To specifically include a detailed review of all polling stations and voting equipment; and

·         Report to the Cabinet Office any changes in official guidance, procedures or legislation which may be needed to remove those barriers that we do not currently have the power or ability to remove, acknowledging that this will be after  ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.(iii)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED - This Council Meeting notes the report “Elections for everyone: Experiences of people with disabilities at the 8 June 2017 UK Parliamentary General Election”, published by the Electoral Commission, which looks at registering to vote and voting from the view of someone with a disability, and which calls for the following to help make elections more accessible for everyone:

 

·         There should be no barriers to voting for people with a disability;

·         Everyone should have a right to vote on their own and in secret;

·         People with disabilities need to know that they can vote and can have support to vote;

·         Care and support workers need to know how they can support the people the care for when they vote;

·         People running elections need to understand the needs of people with disabilities so they can support them and make it easy for them to register to vote and to vote;

·         Candidates and parties should make sure information is in easy to read formats and available in good time before the election so people have the time to read it;

·         Manifestos in accessible formats should be published at the same time as the original version so that people with a disability have as much time as anyone else to understand what the parties stand for; and

·         The government should look at different ways that people with disabilities can vote so that they have greater flexibility and choice.

 

This Council Meeting further notes the specific problems faced by those with a sight impairment, as highlighted in the report “Turned Out 2017: Why the UK voting system must change so blind and partially sighted voters can be in sole control of their right to a secret ballot”, published by the Royal National Institute for the Blind, which calls for:

 

·         Replacement of the current Tactile Voting Device (TVD)  with a new accessible voting system that guarantees blind and partially sighted voters can review the candidates on the ballot paper themselves, reliably find and mark their chosen candidate on the official ballot paper and be in sole control of the secrecy of their vote without any assistance;

·         Guarantee all blind and partially sighted voters can get their legal right to vote without any assistance and in secret by eradicating the current breakdowns in the system, empowering blind and partially sighted people to vote on the same terms as everyone else, and changing the culture of accessible voting from routinely intervening to assist blind and partially sighted voters to not having to assist; and

·         By the 2022 General Election, to provide an online and/or telephone option for blind and partially sighted people to cast their vote independently and in secret if they aren’t able to vote at their polling station.

 

This Council Meeting recognises the recent call for evidence made by the Cabinet Office, seeking to support the government’s commitment to ensure the electoral system is accessible to all electors, which closed in November 2017, and looks forward to the consequent report due in Spring 2018.

 

This Council Meeting believes it is fundamental to democracy that everyone who is entitled to vote can register to vote and actually cast their vote secretly, regardless of any disability, and that national and local government should do all it can to ensure that any barriers preventing this are removed.

 

This Council Meeting therefore resolves to ask the Chief Executive to:

 

·         Conduct a thorough review of this council’s electoral registration and voting processes in liaison with Stockport Disability Forum, with a view to identify and remove all barriers to voter registration and voting which are within this council’s power;

·         To specifically include a detailed review of all polling stations and voting equipment; and

·         Report to the Cabinet Office any changes in official guidance, procedures or legislation which may be needed to remove those barriers that we do not currently have the power or ability to remove, acknowledging that this will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.(iii)

8.

Annual Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 175 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Reform and Governance (Councillor David Sedgwick) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the Council’s approach to pay policy in accordance with the requirements of Section 38 of the Localism Act 2011.

 

RESOLVED – That the Annual Pay Policy Statement 2018/19 be confirmed and published in accordance with the Localism Act 2011.

9.

Interim amendment to the Council's Contract Procedure Rules to permit implementation of a risk-based sourcing trial pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Reform and Governance (Councillor David Sedgwick) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing a proposal to temporarily amend the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules to allow for the piloting of a risk-based sourcing approach for procurement.

 

RESOLVED – That approval be given to the proposed changes to the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules detailed in the report, to allow for the Council to participate in a risk-based sourcing procurement pilot.

10.

Nominations for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor 2018/19

Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution to report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – (1) That Councillor Walter Brett be invited to allow her name to be submitted to the Annual Council Meeting for election to the Office of Mayor for the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport for the year 2018/2019.

 

(2) That Councillor Wendy Meikle be invited to allow his name to be submitted to the Annual Council Meeting for the appointment to the Office of Deputy Mayor for the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport for the year 2018/2019.

11.

Policy in Respect of Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Pay and Supporting Disabled Councillors pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing a proposed policy in respect of maternity, paternity and adoption pay and arrangements for the support of disabled councillors.  The Policy had been developed in response to a resolution of the Council Meeting on 14 September 2017 relating to ‘Recognition of the Fawcett Society 'Does Local Government Work for Women'.

 

RESOLVED – That the policy in respect of maternity, paternity and adoption pay and arrangements for the support of disabled councillors be approved and adopted.

12.

Business Programme - 2018/19 and 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Reform and Governance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Reform and Governance (Councillor David Sedgwick) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the proposed Business Programme for the municipal years 2018/19 and 2019/20.

 

RESOLVED - That the Business Programme for the municipal years 2018/19 and 2019/20 be approved and adopted.