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 soon the country would be moving into Step 4 of the government’s roadmap, and that after 16 months of life with covid, this was a great milestone to achieve and would be eagerly anticipated by many in Stockport. However, it was commented that Stockport currently had a covid infection much higher than we would want, and caution was urged in the way in which residents responded to the removal of restrictions. Councillor Wilson stated that the vaccine rollout continued at pace, and that 83% of adults had received their first jab, with 65% having received both.
Councillor Wilson then stated that work was continuing on the delivery of a new Metrolink-ready interchange that would not only deliver transport improvements, but would provide new homes on brownfield land, and one of the largest new parks provided in the borough for decades.
It was then reported that the Mayoral Development Corporation had recently recruited a number of new private sector board members and that it had been a pleasure to meet them in person at a recent MDC board meeting. The board had then undertaken a tour of the MDC area showcasing both the work already underway, but also the scale of the ambition for the future.
The Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport (Councillor Sheila Bailey) reported that there remained a number of green bin rounds that were being missed, despite the best efforts of TLC and the provision of extra funding from the Council. Staff from other service areas was being used as much as possible but this was creating a backlog of work in other areas. Self-isolating staff members were due to return to work over the coming week, however caution was urged in the light of the ongoing rates of infection in Stockport. Councillor Bailey stated that she would invite the environmental leads from each political group to a meeting with the Council and TLC to discuss the situation and potential ways forward.
Councillor Bailey then stated that she was pleased to report that the new Viaduct Housing development off Mercian Way was due to be opened shortly which would provide 47 new affordable homes.
It was then stated that two of the skate parks in the borough in Torkington Park and at Gatley recreation ground would need to be removed because of their poor condition. However, it was confirmed that funding packages of £44,000 and £67,000 had been agreed respectively to provide replacement facilities.
Finally, it was stated that it hoped that later in the year a Stockport CAN summit would be held to coincide with the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.
The Cabinet Member for Inclusive Neighbourhoods (Councillor Amanda Peers) reported that this year would see the refresh of the Stockport Community Safety Strategy which would also coincide with a refresh of the GM Standing Together Strategy. Councillor Peers stated that she would call on members from across the Chamber to join her in a cross party working group to ensure members' views and residents’ issues were reflected in the new strategy.
Councillor Peers then stated that the Council's had their interest in achieving accreditation with White Ribbon UK who were part of the global White Ribbon movement to end male violence against women. It was stated that gaining white ribbon accreditation would help the Council to make a difference in communities, to end male violence against women, to improve organisational cultural safety and morale, and increase the knowledge and skills of staff to address male violence against women. There would also be a cross party working group to maximise the support and participation of male Members across the Chamber.
Councillor Peers then referred to the ongoing work taking place at Greater Manchester Police to address the issues raised in the HMIC report. Victim training was being delivered to frontline officers and support staff to improve how they interacted with victims of crime and the subsequent recording of crime. Ongoing issues with the 101 police non-emergency number remained a priority and 50 new call centre staff had been recruited in an effort to address this.
The Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus & Engagement (Councillor David Sedgwick) reported that the engagement stage on the Future High Streets Fund proposals was now open online and through face-to-face consultation and engagement.
It was then reported that Central Library, Bridgehall and Offerton libraries were currently closed, but were due to open on Monday. It was also stated that the heritage estate was due to open next week, however the reopening of the Hatworks Museum would be delayed due to ongoing renovation works.
The Cabinet Member for Adult Care & Health (Councillor Jude Wells) reported on the success of the covid vaccination programme, and that over the past few months pop-up vaccination centres had been organised across the borough which had proved incredibly successful. Further work was taking place to engage directly with residents through outreach activities and door knocking exercises which had provided valuable insight into some of the issues around vaccine hesitancy.