Agenda item

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.    


The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance & Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) reported that it had become the position of all councils in Greater Manchester that the final version of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) would need to be submitted to the Council Meetings of the respective ten Greater Manchester districts for approval or otherwise before it was finally formally agreed.  It was further stated that each Council would also vote on whether to proceed to the third stage of the consultation on the GMSF.


Councillor Ganotis then referred to the approach of the Cabinet to setting the budget for 2019/20 and 2020/21 and that it would be taking a thematic approach rather than a service based approach.  Councillor Ganotis stated that he believed that this provided the fairest and most sustainable way to address the funding gap over the next four years.  It was reiterated that council tax continued to form a core element of meeting the funding gap but that every effort would be made to restrict any increase in council tax to no more than 2.99%.


Finally, it was reported that a letter signed by representatives of all political groups on the Council and local MPs had been sent to both the Chancellor and the chair of the Treasury Select Committee in relation to concerns over closures of branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland in the borough.


The Cabinet Member for Economy & Regeneration (Councillor Kate Butler) reported that the Redrock development had been shortlisted for the ‘Re:generate’ category of the 2018 Revo Gold Awards which looked for evidence that developments improved the sustainability and the vitality of the local retail environment.  It was stated that the announcement on the winner would be made on 5 December 2018.


Councillor Butler then reported that the Greater Manchester Combined Authority had given approval in principle to the Mayor of Greater Manchester forming his first Mayoral Development Corporation in Stockport.  Formal ratification of this decision was due to be taken by the Combined Authority in December which would help drive forward the Council’s plans for the Town Centre West redevelopment.


The Cabinet Member for Education (Councillor Dean Fitzpatrick) reported that on Friday, 12 October there had been a day of awareness raising in local schools throughout the borough in relation to funding for education, the focus of which was to motivate parents to lobby local MPs and raise the issue of fair funding for all learners in Stockport schools.


Councillor Fitzpatrick then stated that the Council was committed to the period poverty agenda and all schools and colleges had been made aware that this was a priority in Stockport.  Some of the initiatives in schools had included the introduction of a voucher scheme for use in foodbanks and support for the national Red Box Project.


Finally, Councillor Fitzpatrick reported on the excellent work of the more than 1,300 school governors across Stockport, but highlighted that there was a 15% vacancy rate for local authority nominees to governing boards.


The Cabinet Member for Children & Family Services (Councillor Colin Foster) reported that in 2016 a Greater Manchester Children's Strategy that was developed and used as the basis of a funding application to the Department for Education which in February of this year resulted in £7.3 million being made available for the Greater Manchester area.  In May 2017, a Greater Manchester Children's Board was established to oversee the funding which would be used to tackle a range of challenges in children's social care by disseminating good practice.


Councillor Foster also reported on £2 million of funding that the council had received as part of the Partners in Practice programme to support the development of the dissemination of good practice along with further progression of the Stockport Family model.


The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care (Councillor Wendy Wild) reported that in October a package of additional funding for councils of £240 million had been announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to pay for social care packages for the coming winter.  While the conditions for the grant were not yet known, it was estimated it would provide around £1.3 million worth of additional funding for social care packages in Stockport.