Agenda

Council Meeting - Thursday, 12th January, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall - Stockport. View directions

Contact: Damian Eaton  (0161 474 3207)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Formalities and Announcements

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1.(i)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 367 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 17 November 2022.

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1.(ii)

Urgent Decisions

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

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1.(iii)

Mayor's Announcements

To receive announcements from the Mayor.

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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.

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2.

Community Engagement

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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.

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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.

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2.(iii)

Joint Authorities

(a)       Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel

 

Councillor Tom Morrison to answer questions, if any, on the business of the Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel.

 

(b)       Greater Manchester Combined Authority

 

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

 

Greater Manchester Combined Authority   

- Councillor Mark Hunter

Transport for Greater Manchester Committee

- Councillor Angie Clark

Greater Manchester Waste & Recycling Committee 

- Councillor Mark Roberts

 

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3.

Policy Framework and Budget

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3.(i)

Treasury Management Strategy and Annual Investment Strategy Mid-Year Review Report 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 439 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources.

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3.(ii)

Business Rates and Council Tax Discounts Annual Review pdf icon PDF 889 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources.

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4.

General Business

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4.(i)

Local Audit Update - Appointment of an Independent (Co-opted) Member pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To consider a report of the Chair of the Audit Committee.

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4.(ii)

PSAA Appointment of External Auditor 2023 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To consider a report of the Chair of the Audit Committee.

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4.(iii)

Admission Appeal and Exclusion Review Panel Members pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education.

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4.(iv)

Annual Report regarding Councillor Conduct pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To consider a report of the Chair of the Standards Committee.

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4.(v)

Appointment to the Stockport Local Access Forum

To give approval to the appointment of Jonathan Broad as a member of the Stockport Local Access Forum.

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5.

Leader's Report and Cabinet Question Time

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5.(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.

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5.(ii)

Questions

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5.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To receive the Minutes of the Cabinet held on 6 December 2022 and the record of executive decisions taken since the last Council Meeting, (schedule enclosed, decisions previously circulated) and consider any recommendations they contain.

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6.

Scrutiny

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

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6.(i)

Scrutiny Business

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

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6.(ii)

Questions

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

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6.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 232 KB

To receive the Minutes of the following Scrutiny Committees:-

 

Adult Social Care & Health – 24 November 2022

Children & Families – 23 November 2022

Communities & Housing – 21 November 2022

Corporate, Resource Management & Governance – 22 November 2022

Economy & Regeneration – 24 November 2022

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7.

Ordinary and Area Committees

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7.(i)

Regulatory Business

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7.(ii)

Questions

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

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7.(iii)

Minutes pdf icon PDF 258 KB

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

 

Ordinary Committees

 

Appointments – 9 November and 1 December 2022.

Audit – 16 November 2022

Contributors – 24 November 2022

Health & Wellbeing Board – 23 November 2022

Health & Wellbeing Board (Better Care Fund) Sub – 23 September 2022

Licensing – 14 December 2022

Licensing Sub – 24 October, 22 November, 23 November, 5 December and 21 December 2022

Planning & Highways Regulation – 10 November and 15 December 2022

Standards – 5 December 2022

 

Area Committees

 

Bramhall & Cheadle Hulme South – 1 December 2022

Central Stockport – 1 December 2022

Cheadle – 29 November 2022

Heatons & Reddish – 28 November 2022

Marple – 30 November 2022

Stepping Hill – 29 November 2022

Werneth – 28 November 2022

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8.

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

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8.(i)

Tackling child hunger by extending Free School Meal provision and reviewing current criteria

This Council meeting notes:

 

·         Within Stockport there are areas of great deprivation, with 17% of the borough being some of the most deprived areas in the country;

·         Areas of Brinnington and Lancashire Hill rank within the most deprived 1% nationally; and

·         This deprivation gap is translated over to educational attainment, with only 25% of children in Brinnington achieving 5 A*-C GCSEs.

 

This council meeting recognises that:

 

·         The cost of living crisis impacts on our children and their families;

·         The Cabinet are dedicated to ensuring that our most disadvantaged children are not left behind, in line with the levelling up agenda; and

·         In order to do this, we must ensure that every child has the nutrition they need to be able to work and learn in the school day, as well as enjoy their time in the school environment.

 

This council meeting also notes:

 

·         The provision of free school meals offers many benefits to children;

·         A hot and nutritious school meal improves children’s concentration and behaviour during lessons and positively impacts on school attendance, children’s health and academic performance;

·         Prior to the current cost of living crisis 800,000 school-age children nationally who live in poverty are unable to receive free school meals because their families income surpass the rigid income threshold for receiving free school meals;

·         In this respect the Government in England is lagging far behind Scotland and Wales, who have begun to deliver universal free school meals on a class-by-class basis;

·         Whilst in the Coalition Government, Liberal Democrats introduced free school meals for all children in years Reception, 1 and 2. This provided healthy, nutritious free school meals to 1.5 million children aged 4-7 across the UK.

·         This policy was then scrapped by the Conservative Government in 2017.

 

This council meeting further notes:

 

·         That the continuing cost of living crisis, with soaring food prices, means that more families are struggling to afford school lunches;

·          Research by the national children’s health and education charity “Chefs In Schools” found that 85% of primary school teachers said there were children who are ineligible for Free School Meals who would benefit from receiving them and 81% of primary school teachers say in the last 6 months the number of children who come to school hungry had increased;

·         Prices of low-cost staple groceries have become 17% more expensive in the past year, making it even harder for families to feed their children1.

·         The number of children who are not eligible for free school meals is likely to be growing with the ongoing cost of living crisis;

·         Current eligibility for free school meals means a household on universal credit in England must earn less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including benefits), regardless of the number of children in the family, which means that many children from working families in poverty are not entitled to free school meals; and

·         Children need healthy, nutritious meals all year round and families in poverty need certainty that this will be provided continuously, outside of term time.

 

This Council Meeting therefore resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, to call for:

 

·         An alleviation of financial pressure on hard working families struggling to feed their children during the cost-of-living crisis by implementing an urgent extension of free school meals to ensure universal provision for all school age groups, for a time limited period to match the cost of living crisis; and

·         A simultaneous review of the eligibility criteria and realistic threshold that would increase the number of children entitled to free school meals, with universal provision to end only once a more realistic threshold has been implemented; and

·         Food provision for children on free school meals during the school holidays as standard.

 

Moved by:                  Councillor Wendy Meikle

 

Seconded by:           Councillor Malcolm Allan

 

Footnote:

1.    Tracking the price of the lowest-cost grocery items, UK,  ...  view the full agenda text for item 8.(i)

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8.(ii)

Developing the Stockport approach to improving local biodiversity and tackling nature depletion

This Council Meeting notes that:

 

·         A previous cross party council motion to support the climate and ecology bill clearly demonstrated the feelings within this chamber on what we expect from our national government but we must play our part too as the custodians of place for Stockport.

·         Tree planting, wildflower meadows, community gardens, orchards and intelligent mowing regimes in parks and grasslands and pond creation are important measures already being taken in Stockport, however there is more that we can do

·         Biodiversity loss is a crisis that is as serious as climate change.

·         Biodiversity supports the things in nature that we need to survive and prosper 

·         Nature is well known to influence human well-being, something we became acutely aware of in the last few years as a consequence of pandemic response. Ever increasing urbanisation has meant that many Stockport residents have reduced access to nature.

·         The role of biodiversity and nature in helping to regulate greenhouse gases and mitigating the impacts of extreme weather, is an important element to tackling climate change and building resilience to baked in future climate change.

·         The context of this motion shortly after the COP Biodiversity conference in Montréal where a framework to protect and restore nature for current and future generations was signed up to by the UK and other countries

·         Greater Manchester, of which Stockport is a part, declared a “biodiversity emergency” earlier this year, with projects and initiatives aiming to recover and restore biodiversity, reverse habitat loss and explore what more can be done.

 

This council meeting therefore resolves to:

 

·         Establish a cross-party ‘Task and Finish’ Group to consider what the council is already doing to improve biodiversity and protect nature, and to identifyother areas for consideration and future further action, together with target dates, in this respect;

·         Inviting the Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, up to two members from each political Group (which may include current members of the Climate Action Now committee), and those officers which would be appropriate to join the Task and Finish Group, with a view to reporting back to the Cabinet Member by late Summer 2023; and

·         annually thereafter, request the Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment to supply an annual ‘Stockport State of Nature’ report to the appropriate Scrutiny Committee.

 

Moved by:                  Councillor Mark Roberts

 

Seconded by:           Councillor Liz Crix

 

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8.(iii)

Freedom to practice religious beliefs without fear

This council notes that Greater Manchester Police are investigating a Critical Incident in relation to an alleged hate crime at the Heatons Muslim Community Trust on 9th December.

 

This council strongly supports the rights of its residents to worship without fear or retribution and strongly condemns those who would seek to undermine this right.

 

Moved by:                  Councillor Colin Foster

 

Seconded by:           Councillor Dean Fitzpatrick

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8.(iv)

Learning from Awaab Ishak - Tackling Mould and Damp in Stockport's Rented Properties

Stockport Homes has consistently shown that it works for its residents. Nevertheless, as a council, we must lead from the front to ensure our social housing stock is maintained to the highest quality. This is especially the case in tackling any cases of mould and damp within Stockport Homes maintained properties. 

 

Mould and damp is an issue that also affects private rental and housing association properties and we must ensure we never see a tragic case similar to that of Awaab Ishak within a Stockport Homes property or, indeed, in any rental property within Stockport. 

 

Therefore, this council acknowledges:

 

·         The tragic death of the two-year old Awaab Ishak as a result of chronic exposure to mould within the family’s one-bedroom flat in Rochdale;

·         The failure of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing to maintain the property and fix the mould issue that led to Awaab’s death; and

·         The letter written by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to council leaders and social housing providers that damp and mould complaints must be dealt with “with sufficient seriousness”. 

 

In light of this, this council asks Stockport Homes and the private landlords they work with to:

 

·         Ensure it prioritises damp and mould complaints and resolves them without delay;

·         Identifies and prioritises vulnerable tenants for dealing with damp and mould issues - particularly the very young, the very old and those with chronic lung conditions.

·         To prioritise these vulnerable tenants in addressing repairs to areas of their homes that can lead to damp and mould. Eg, clearing guttering, sealing windows, replacing faulty extraction fans in bathrooms and kitchens;

·         Provide tenants with actionable tips and guidance for keeping mould at bay. Ie, beyond advice to simply ‘wipe it off’;

·         Provide specific training to call handlers on how to advise tenants telephoning or emailing about their damp and mould problems;

·         Ensure all operatives are provided with adequate PPE when visiting homes to assess or remediate damp and mould problems;

·         Inform all tenants on how they can contact Stockport Homes to ensure damp and mould complaints can be dealt with;

·         Always ensure its primary focus is delivering new social housing and maintaining, to the highest standard, its existing properties; 

·         Ensure all councillors are given the opportunity to attend regular inspection walkabouts with Stockport Homes officers; and 

·         Stockport Homes update the council on this work by delivering a presentation to full council at the next available opportunity.

 

This council also asks the Chief Executive:

·         To write to all housing associations with properties within Stockport and ask them to update councillors on their maintenance procedures for dealing with mould and damp complaints. 

 

Moved by:                  Councillor David Meller

 

Seconded by:           Councillor Kate Butler

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