Agenda item

Communities and Housing. Climate Change and Environment and Highways, Parks and Leisure Services Portfolio Performance and Resources Reports: Quarter 4/Year-End Reports

To consider a report of the Director of Place Management.


The Portfolio Reports are based on the 2022/23 Portfolio Performance and Resource Agreements (PPRAs) and provide a comprehensive summary of progress against portfolio priorities, performance indicators and budgets during 2022/23, but with a specific focus on the fourth quarter (January to March 2023).


Scrutiny Committee is asked to:


a)    Consider the Annual Portfolio Performance and Resource Reports.


b)    Review the progress against delivering key projects, priority outcomes, targets and budgets for 2022/23.


c)    Highlight key areas of and responsibility for taking forward corrective  action to address any performance or resource issues.


d)    Highlight any significant issues or changes to be fed back to the Cabinet alongside the Corporate Performance and Resource Report.


e)    Identify how areas of strong performance and good practice can be shared in other services.


Officer contact: Alan Lawson at



The Director of Place Management submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining the Portfolio Reports based on the 2022/23 Portfolio Performance and Resource Agreements (PPRAs) and providing a comprehensive summary of progress against portfolio priorities, performance indicators and budgets during 2022/23, but with a specific focus on the fourth quarter (January to March 2023).


The following comments were made/ issues raised:-


Communities and Housing


·         It was noted that there had been an increase in pressure in terms of homelessness at both a national and local level which would now become a priority for the Cabinet Member for Economy, Regeneration and Housing.

·         Members noted that take up of pension credit had the capacity to make a big difference to a lot of people and queried whether any work was being undertaken to encourage take up of Healthy Start vouchers.

·         In response, it was confirmed that work was being undertaken in relation to the of uptake for Healthy Start vouchers and a briefing note providing an update would be circulated to Members.

·         Members welcomed the positive work undertaken to support the refugee and migrant communities, in particular in supporting the provision of healthy and culturally appropriate foods, and queried the current level of Government support in relation to the refugee and migrant communities.

·         In response, it was commented that Government support for Afghan refugees had come to an end and that the Council had worked to offer support in the absence of Government support. It was further reported that Government funding overall was inadequate, particularly related to helping refugee and migrant children obtain school places to help them feel safe.

·         In relation to a query around Ukrainian refugees, it was reported that many of the arrivals from the Ukraine had moved into private rented accommodation or returned to the Ukraine, however the Council was continuing to support 89 households. It was noted that there were concerns in relation to supporting Ukrainian refugees with private rental costs.

·         In relation to the imminent closure of a hotel housing Afghan refugees, it was queried whether there were any plans for a housing emergency and whether the Council planned to build social housing.

·         In response, it was stated that the challenge of building affordable social housing was a key focus of the Cabinet Member for Economy, Regeneration and Housing and going forward would not be in the remit of this Scrutiny Committee.

·         It was noted that the number of volunteers in the volunteer hub had more than doubled.

·         It was requested that full indicator names to be viewable on future reports submitted to the Committee.

·         In relation to tackling domestic and other gender-based abuse, it was suggested that a cross-party campaign to provide support and awareness for White Ribbon UK should be implemented.

·         In response, it was confirmed that a motion had been passed at Council a few years earlier and that Stockport Council was an accredited organisation to the White Ribbon UK charity.

·         It was requested that an item in relation to the pilot of the Stockport Homes Cuckooking Project be programmed into the Scrutiny Committee’s work programme.

·         Members requested that clarification be provided in relation to the transition from The Safer Stockport Partnership to the One Stockport Safety Partnership.


Highways, Parks and Leisure


·         It was commented that it would be useful for the Committee to understand the scope of the review in relation to Totally Local Company (TLC) savings and productivity which was due to be presented to the Corporate, Resource Management and Governance Scrutiny Committee.

·         In response, it was stated that the Parks, Highways and Transport Services Portfolio procured services from the TLC and that the review covered elements of work under that portfolio. It was noted that work was underway to explore the way that capital and revenue services had been delivered by TLC and consideration was being given to how those services could become more streamlined.

·         It was reported that a key feature of the review of the TLC included amendments to the governance structure which would enable the Council to exercise its rights and responsibilities as the sole shareholder and that the work of TLC would be narrowed to core activities and there would be a reduction in the TLC’s independence from the Council.

·         In relation to fly-tipping incidents and the use of cheap ‘man and van’ services for the disposal of waste, it was noted that approximately one in six Stockport residents did not have a car and may not be able to drive waste to a Council owned waste and recycling centre.

·         In response, it was commented that the intention was not to persecute individuals who use those services but those who fly tip waste and the report was intended to raise awareness that in some instances ‘man and van’ services were not regulated.

·         It was requested that the number of reports of fly-tipping should continue to be included as a metric in future reports submitted for consideration by the Committee.

·         It was queried whether a metric assessment could be included in future reports on the number of blocked grids and gullies across the borough.

·         In response, it was reported that there was a long-term programme of work for unblocking gullies and grids and that capital funds have been set aside to clear grids that cannot be unblocked via jetting. It was noted that the programme had been curtailed during the pandemic but had since stabilised and there was a criteria to prioritise the unblocking of gullies. It was commented that the three-year rolling programme involved checking certain gullies where problems were known on a more regular annual or six monthly basis, however no monitoring exercises were undertaken by the Council to check which grids and gullies were blocked and members of the public were able to report blockages using an online form.


RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

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