(a) Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel
Councillor Sheila Bailey to answer questions, if any, on the business of the Greater Manchester Police 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 Alex Ganotis
Transport for Greater Manchester Committee
- Councillor John Taylor
Greater Manchester Waste Committee
- Councillor Roy Driver
(a) Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel
There were no questions in relation to the business of the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel.
(b) Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Councillor Helen Foster-Grime asked when the Council was going to consult the people of Stockport directly about its specific plans to address air quality.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) responded that members had been provided with frequent updates on the progress of the Clean Air Plan. It was also stated that the Plan would not include any proposal for the introduction of congestion charging in Greater Manchester.
It was confirmed that there would be a delay in the submission of the outline business case to the government beyond the deadline of the end of January 2019, and that the government had been kept fully informed on the progress of the business case.
It was stated that the outline business case would also need to be agreed by each of the ten Greater Manchester districts which would build in an additional element of delay.
Finally it was confirmed that the outline business case would be followed by a period of public engagement, and that there would be a further period of public engagement on the full business case as that was developed.
Councillor Helen Foster-Grime then asked why the Greater Manchester Combined Authority were not complying with the timetable imposed by the government for the submission of the outline business case, and what the potential implications of that were.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) responded that the outline business case needed to be evidence-led and that the greatest risk of legal challenge was not from the slippage of the timetable, but rather from accusation of predetermination. With regard to the legal implications of the delay in the submission of the outline business case, it was not clear what those might be, however the Council and the Combined Authority were receiving legal advice and on balance it was considered that it was a risk worth taking.
Councillor Hunter asked when the Leader of the Council had last raised concerns to the Mayor of Greater Manchester in respect of cuts to police budgets.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) confirmed he had done so most recently two days previously.
Councillor Hunter then asked whether the Leader of the Council would agree with him that the Mayor of Greater Manchester could and should be doing more on this issue in light of ongoing concerns from residents in relation to reductions in police resources and recent press reports that the SK8 postcode area was in list of the top ten areas for burglaries.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) stated that Greater Manchester Police had lost approximately 2,000 officers since 2010 and that he was personally aware of the impact this was having, particularly with regard to burglaries within the area identified by Councillor Hunter. It was further stated that the government had recently commenced a consultation, as part of its provisional local government settlement, on the ability of local authorities to raise the precept from February onwards by up to £24. It was therefore the view of the government that the response from authorities should be to increase the precept levied for policing to address this issue rather than expect additional resources from central government.
Councillor Hunter then stated that the Chief Constable had recently stated his own figures had shown that there had been a 17% increase in recorded crime over the last 12 month period in Greater Manchester and asked what more the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Mayor of Greater Manchester could do to address this.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) responded that he agreed that there was a crisis in policing and that policing resources had diminished at a time when the volume and complexity of crime was increasing. It was stated that Greater Manchester had protected numbers of PCSOs when other policing areas had seen reductions of PCSOs, however there needed to be a serious conversation over the coming weeks about how far the police precept should go towards mitigating some the issues that had been discussed this evening.
Councillor Hunter then asked whether the Leader of the Council would back his call the Mayor of Greater Manchester should lead an all-party delegation to the Home Secretary to press the case for more resources for policing in Greater Manchester.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) responded that he would discuss the matter with the Mayor of Greater Manchester.
Councillor Stuart Corris stated that businesses, and small businesses in particular would need time to prepare for and implement some of the measures that would be included in the Clean Air Plan including any proposed scrappage scheme, variable parking charges to disincentivise peak time travel and the introduction of a workplace parking levy. Councillor Corris further referred to proposals contained within the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework that would result in further residential housing development within and around the Bredbury & Woodley ward that he represented that would have a significant impact on the road network in that area. Councillor Corris then stated that a major element of the road network in Bredbury was the M60 that was the responsibility of the Highways Agency and which was not subject to the same requirement to make improvements to air quality as local authorities were and he asked what influence the Council could bring to bear to address this issue.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) responded that at this stage it was difficult to assess what the impact of the measures in the Clean Air Plan would be as that work was not yet completed. Councillor Ganotis stated that the Council was following a legal process over which is had no discretion with regard to the timeframe for the introduction of any penalty regime, but that t would not be until the end of 2019 when the full business case was submitted, that the detail of the Plan would be known. Finally, Councillor Ganotis stated that in representations to the government it had been made clear that without the involvement of Highways England, proposals to improve air quality would ultimately fail as those roads in Stockport where there were identified exceedances were those routes which were used by motorists to access the motorway network.
Councillor MacAlister asked whether it was possible to provide air quality monitoring equipment in High Lane, as reports to the Combined Authority had indicated that there were exceedances from the small amount of monitoring that had been done in that area. Councillor MacAlister further enquired if it was possible to ensure that officers attended a meeting with local councillors to discuss the ongoing impact of the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road on the local highway network in High Lane to identify further mitigation measures.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) responded that he would arrange for a meeting between Councillor MacAlister and relevant officers in relation to the interpretation of the data in the report to the Combined Authority and whether that required any further monitoring in the High Lane area. Councillor Ganotis then stated that in relation to the impact of the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road, the Council already had an agreed approach as how it would monitor the ongoing impact and then assess the need for further mitigation measures.
Councillor Lloyd asked Councillor Taylor whether Transport for Greater Manchester had a process in place for the consideration of petitions after the matter the subject of the petition had been determined, and whether Councillor Taylor would agree with him that it was not ‘good work’ to deliver a petition three months too late.
Councillor Taylor responded that while he would like to give credit to the diligent search that had been conducted to bring the petition to light, the changes to the bus service had since been implemented and matters had subsequently moved on.
Councillor Wells asked Councillor Taylor whether he expected there to be any positive news about the bus timetables and changes that were due to be considered at the following day’s Transport for Greater Manchester Committee meeting.
Councillor Taylor responded that from 27 January 2019 more than 40 bus services run by Stagecoach would have either an amended route or timetable. In particular, Councillor Taylor highlighted the fact that the number 7 service from Stockport to Ashton via Reddish would have two additional early morning services in both directions. It was further clarified that the route of the Sunday- only 7A service would now more closely align with that of the number 7 service. It was confirmed that there would also be a new 312 Sunday service introduced to help mitigate against previous changes to bus services in that locality.
Councillor Wyatt asked Councillor Taylor whether there had been any progress in resolving the issue whereby the southbound 192 bus service did not stop at Stepping Hill hospital, while the northbound service did which meant that users of the Hazel Grove Park and Ride facility had to walk from the A6 to access the hospital.
Councillor Taylor responded that the southbound service had never accessed the hospital directly and that there was limited influence that Transport for Greater Manchester was able to exert over this matter as the 192 was a wholly commercial service.
(c) Greater Manchester Waste Committee
There were no questions in relation to the business of the Greater Manchester Waste Committee.