Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Meeting, Corporate, Resource Management & Governance Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 4th January, 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Conference Room 1 - Fred Perry House. View directions

Contact: David Clee  (0161 474 3137)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

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 they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

The following interest was declared:-

 

Personal Interest

 

Councillor

 

 

Andy Sorton

 

 

 

 

Agenda item 2(i) ‘Call-in of Executive Decision CAB339 ‘Future High Street Fund – Stockroom’ as his partner works for the Stockport Libraries’ service.

 

 

2.

Call-In

To consider call-in items

Additional documents:

2.(i)

Call-in of Executive Decision CAB339 'Future High Street Fund - Stockroom' pdf icon PDF 211 KB

To consider the call-in of executive decision CAB339.

 

This decision has been called in by Councillors Lou Ankers, Lisa Smart and Iain Roberts; and by Councillors John McGahan, Linda Holt and Oliver Johnstone.

 

The ‘call-in’ deadline expired at 4.00pm on 14 December 2021.

 

The Executive Decision Record and report are enclosed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Committee was advised that Executive Decision CAB339 had been ‘called-in’ by Councillors Lou Ankers, Lisa Smart and Iain Roberts; and also by Councillors John McGahan, Linda Holt and Oliver Johnstone. It was reported that the matter related to a decision taken by the Cabinet on 7 December 2021 with regard to progress with Stockport’s Future High Street Fund project (Stockroom).The report had updated the Cabinet on the outcome of the recent consultation which had been undertaken, and sought approval to relocate the town centre library from Central Library to Stockroom. The report also provided an update regarding potential future uses of the existing Central Library building and sought approval to the proposed course of action set out in Section 10 to progress these issues. The Cabinet had given approval to the recommendations contained within the report as set out in the Executive Decision Record.

 

Councillor John McGahan outlined his reasons for ‘calling in’ the decision, in particular that the majority of people who had responded to the consultation were opposed to moving library services from the Central Library building. In addition, a petition had been received by the Council signed by over 7,000 people who opposed moving library services out of the Central Library building, and three of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees had passed a resolution opposed to the relocation of library services from the Central Library. The Cabinet had not provided evidence that the award of the Future High Street grant was contingent on the move of library services from the Central Library building. Councillor McGahan moved a motion proposing that the issue be referred to the next Council Meeting for debate.

 

Councillor Oliver Johnstone contended that the proposals for Stockroom and the transfer of library services from the Central Library were not mutually exclusive. A number of residents did not disagree with the principles of Stockroom but were opposed to moving library services from the Central Library. No evidence had been provided by the Cabinet that moving library services would mean that the Future High Street grant for Stockroom would not be available. The Cabinet had not proved the case that the Central Library had to move.  In addition, he asserted that the Cabinet did not have the authority to proceed. Despite a major marketing exercise, the majority of the people who had responded to the consultation were opposed to moving library services out of the Central Library and over 7,000 people had signed a petition to that effect. In addition, Councillor Johnstone also referred to the detailed consideration of the issues by three of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees and the resolution passed by them at their last meetings opposed to library services being moved out of the Central Library. He contended that the issues raised by the Scrutiny Committees had not been properly addressed by the Cabinet.

 

Councillor Lou Ankers clarified that she was not opposed to Stockroom, but opposed moving library services from the Central Library. She seconded the motion to refer the issue to the next Council Meeting for debate. Councillor Lisa Smart added that the Scrutiny Committee had a duty to listen to the views of members of the public. Councillor Iain Roberts felt that the option of library services remaining at the Central Library and the Stockroom proposals should be explored. There could be other additional options and he wished for these to be explored as well, including different elements of the library service being located in different buildings. He, and other Councillors who had ‘called-in’ the decision, supported the Cabinet working with the opposition groups on the Council to explore these options.

 

The Scrutiny Committee debated the need for library services to be accessible, and adhere to the National Disability Strategy 2021 and the Stockport Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy 2020-2023. The proposed sensory area, safe area, changing places facility and disabled changing facilities at Stockroom were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.(i)

3.

To consider further call-in items (if any)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no further call-in items to consider.