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 Devolution (Councillor Elise Wilson) reported that in response to recent flooding events in Stockport, she had written to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs calling for the establishment of a flood summit with aim of seeing what more could be done to strengthen legislation, provide financial support and align national and regional strategies to mitigate flood risk.  However, this offer had been declined.  It was stated that the Council took its responsibilities at a local level very seriously, however the issues that played into instances of flooding were ones that needed a much wider conversation.


Councillor Wilson then reported on the vision for an integrated public transport network for Greater Manchester which had the aim of interlinking sustainable modes of transport under one pricing system.  It was stated that significant parts of the vision would require government support and funding and to that extent, recent statements by the Prime Minister on this issue had been encouraging.  On a more local level, walking and cycling projects covering the last mile of journeys were being delivered using money from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and funding had been committed to several bids within the Stockport area.


Finally, Councillor Wilson encouraged members of the public to engage with the ongoing consultation in relation to the introduction of a bus franchising scheme in Greater Manchester.


The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance (Councillor Tom McGee) thanked those members of the Council that had attended briefings in the previous week on the Brexit preparations being undertaken by the Council.  It was stated that the UK’s departure from the European Union would have a direct impact on the budget setting process, however there remained a degree of uncertainly in relation to the date for this and the impact that a general election might have on the scheduling of the announcement on the local government finance settlement.


It was confirmed that just over £1.5 million in business rates would be returned to the Council which would be put into reserves, and that the reserves policy would then be applied to determine how those reserves might be used. 


The Cabinet Member for Children, Family Services & Education (Councillor Colin Foster) reported on the ‘New Beginnings’ project that was being run within Stockport Family that has appeared within the October edition of the Department for Education’s children social care innovation programme.  The project was focused around families where trauma was an issue and took place over 26 weeks.  The aim was to tackle the underlying issues within the family and to avoid those children being taken into care.


Councillor Foster then reported on the creation of a specialist drug and alcohol court in Stockport following several pilots across the country where this had been introduced instead of using the normal family court process.  These specialist courts would have the support of a team that included misuse specialists, domestic abuse specialists, domestic violence experts, psychiatrists and social workers that would eb able to provide advice to the court about a particular family such that when care proceedings were going through the system the court could obtain a much wider view of the family concerned.


The Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration (Councillor David Meller) commented on the recently held Stockport Business Awards and commended the work to formally recognise those successful Stockport businesses that contributed to the growth of the Stockport economy. 


Councillor Meller further commented on the work taking place to improve and enhance Stockport’s district centres and stated that a report would be submitted to scrutiny committee in December that will form the basis of the Council’s support to its local high streets


Councillor Meller then reported on the consultation on Greater Manchester’s proposal for bus franchising that had recently commenced.  Councillor Meller stated that Greater Manchester had been let down by a bus system that had not operated in the interests of passengers and which had resulted in a significant decline in the number of bus journeys since bus deregulation.  The bus franchising model favoured by the Mayor of Greater Manchester would bring clear accountability to the system, a simplified and integrated fares system, provide a consistent level of service and help address issues of congestion and air quality.


Finally, Councillor Meller advised the meeting that he had met with Transport for Greater Manchester with a view to making improvements to the accessibility of East Didsbury Metrolink Station for residents of Cheadle and to lobby for the alteration of the route of the 192 so that northbound services stopped on the Stepping Hill Hospital site.


The Cabinet Member for Inclusive Neighbourhoods (Councillor Amanda Peers) provided an update on the implementation of the Integrated Operating Police Operating System by Greater Manchester Police following concerns expressed at the last meeting of the Council Meeting in relation to whether police officers were receiving the required information when attending incidents.  Councillor Peers stated that she had raised the matter at a steering group meeting in advance of the Police and Crime Panel meeting and the Panel meeting itself.  Councillor Peers stated that she had received assurances that the information was available to officers, however there remained some issues with the ability of some officers to use the system and a training issue had been flagged.  It was also stated that the old PNC system was still in operation which allowed officers to interrogate the old system if they were unable to access information using the Integrated Operating Police Operating System.