Scrutiny Week January 2021 – nowt on #climate – buildings, parks and “green infrastructure”

The tl:dr The council is getting away with not even looking at its climate policy failures. Climate Emergency Manchester is trying to change that via a) our Hung Drawn and Quarterly reports b) this sort of thing below.  c) If you want to chat with us, our email is contact@climateemergencymanchester.net and we have an online meeting on Monday 11th January from 8pm to 845.  Oh, and d) date for your diary – Tues 9th Feb, we are at Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee, asking that they give the whole council a vote on whether to create a seventh scrutiny committee.

Manchester City Council has 96 elected councillors (93 are Labour, 2 Lib Dems and 1 independent). They are supposed to develop and oversee the implementation of policies – so, when a “climate emergency” is declared, as it was in July 2019 – you’d hope to see these elected representatives putting real pressure on the civil servants employed to deliver.

There is an 8-member  “Strategic Management Team” of civil servants, on serious money (6 figures per annum). They are supposed to help set policy and implement it. They have directors of this, deputy assistant directors of that, etc.

Ten times a year, six “scrutiny” committees meet to see if things are being done.  These committees are made up of elected councillors. Several of the committees have only Labour councillors.  The meetings of these committees tend to last for about two hours. Anywhere between 3 and 5 items are discussed.  For each item there is a written report, and published the week before. On the day itself a senior councillor and a senior civil servant (often a member of the Strategic Management Team) come along and respond to questions (sometimes they even answer the questions).  There’s a lot of chest-beating and every-so-often a minor concession is made to democracy, and something actually changes.

You can learn more about the whole thing by reading two Climate Emergency Manchester reports – “beginner’s guide to Manchester City Council and climate change” and “Scrutiny Handbook“.

One of the six scrutiny committees – Neighbourhoods ‘and Environment’ Scrutiny Committee – is supposed to be keeping tabs on climate change. It hasn’t had a single agenda item on climate since July 2020 (when it was revealed that the city has burnt a quarter of its carbon budget for the entire 21st century in the last two years).  Not a single one.  That’s why Climate Emergency Manchester is calling for an additional scrutiny committee to be created, that is dedicated to climate policy. We will be putting the case to Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee on 9th February, asking them to send the recommendation to full Council for a vote.

Here below are the agendas for the six scrutiny committee meetings for January.  We are busy sending emails to individuals and groups who we know have an interest in specific items and issues.  Please do the same. The more people who know about what scrutiny is and how it works, who then ask councillors on the committees to actually ask decent questions and keep asking until they get an answer, the more chance we have of getting some sort of response, however feeble, out of the Council.

 

Resources and Governance

Tues 12 at 10am

Agenda

Corporate Core Budget Proposals 2021/22  PDF 390 KB

 

This report provides a further update to the Scrutiny committee on the savings proposals being proposed as part of the 2021/22 budget process and reflects any feedback from the November Scrutiny committees. The savings proposals will be considered by all six Scrutiny Committees for those areas within their remit, prior to going out to public consultation.

Additional documents:

Capital Investment Priorities and Pipeline  PDF 346 KB

 

This report provides a summary of the Council’s proposed capital investment priorities, which will be included in the Capital Strategy report to Executive in February.

Additional documents:

The Council’s HRA and Housing Investment Reserve and Governance of the potential work to bring Housing ALMO back in house and other Housing PFI schemes  PDF 444 KB

 

This report outlines the financial position of the Council’s HRA and Housing Investment Reserve and the proposed governance arrangements that would be put in place should the Council decide to bring the Housing ALMO stock back under the control of the Council including any proposals for future tenant involvement and also governance arrangements of the other housing PFI schemes.  The report also describes the framework in which the Council manages its two Tenant Management Organisations.

Our Manchester Strategy Reset  PDF 289 KB

 

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer attached  This report provides an update on the draft Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 reset document. A draft of the reset Strategy is appended to this report.

Additional documents:

 

Health 

Tues 12 at 2pm

Agenda.

COVID-19 Update – To follow
Budget Options for 2021/22 – To follow
Our Manchester Strategy Reset – Draft Strategy  PDF 293 KB

 

This report provides an update on the draft Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 reset document. A draft of the reset Strategy is appended to this report. Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 will reset Manchester’s priorities for the next five years to ensure we can still achieve the city’s ambition set out in the Our Manchester Strategy 2015 – 2025.

Additional documents:

 

Children and Young People

Weds 13 at 10am

Agenda

Children and Education Services Budget 2021/22  PDF 383 KB

 

This report outlines the financial management and leadership of the Directorate’s budget, the financial position which includes demography, growth of demand and a series of savings options proposed by officers aligned to the remit of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee to contribute to the Council’s duty to achieve a balanced budget in 2021/22. The report also sets out the impact the options will have on residents and the workforce.

The Council’s budget proposals for 2021/22 and onwards will be subject to further refinement following feedback from public consultation and scrutiny committees.  Final budget proposals will be made to Scrutiny and Executive in February 2021.

Additional documents:

Update on Schools and Their Response to COVID-19  PDF 258 KB

 

This report provides a further update on the impact of COVID on schools in the city and how this has been responded to during the Autumn term 2020. This includes an overview of remote learning which is provided by our schools when pupils are required to self-isolate. The report provides an update on how the COVID winter grant was used to make provision over Christmas for children and young people eligible for free school meals and also summarises recent guidance for schools from the Government on summer term assessment, remote learning and testing. Finally, the report provides some information on plans to develop testing in schools during the spring term.

Additional documents:

Our Manchester Strategy Reset – Draft Strategy  PDF 293 KB

 

This report provides an update on the draft Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 reset document. A draft of the reset Strategy is appended to this report.

Additional documents:

 

Neighbourhoods and Environment

Weds 13 at 2pm

Agenda

Neighbourhoods Directorate Budget Proposals 2021/22  PDF 268 KB

 

This report provides a further update to the Scrutiny committee on the savings proposals being proposed as part of the 2021/22 budget process and reflects any feedback from the November Scrutiny committees. The savings proposals will be considered by all six Scrutiny Committees for those areas within their remit, prior to going out to public consultation.  Additional documents:

Homelessness Directorate Budget and Savings Options 2021/22  PDF 332 KB

 

This report provides the high level budget context and priorities for Homelessness across 2021/22 and the feedback from the budget conversation, which has been used for the development of savings options 2021/22 and investment requirements to fund population driven and other budget pressures.

Additional documents:

Our Manchester Strategy Reset – Draft Strategy  PDF 293 KB

 

This report provides an update on the draft Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 reset document. A draft of the reset Strategy is appended to this report. Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 will reset Manchester’s priorities for the next five years to ensure we can still achieve the city’s ambition set out in the Our Manchester Strategy 2015 – 2025.

Additional documents:

Manchester Green and Blue Strategy and Implementation Plan  PDF 484 KB

 

This report provides the annual update on the delivery of the Green and Blue Implementation Plan together with information on the delivery of the Tree Action Plan.

Additional documents:

[The creation of the Green and Blue Infrastructure “strategy” was a farcical joke, covered by Manchester Climate Monthly. Endlessly promised and not delivered, they finally put out something that was simply not consulted on.]

Monitoring and Compliance – Construction Sites  PDF 208 KB

 

Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods), the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing and the Head of Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety The report provides information requested by Members on a range of activities relating to the monitoring and compliance of construction sites.

 

Economy

Thurs 14 at 10am

Agenda

Growth and Development Directorate Budget Proposals 2021/22  PDF 251 KB

 

This report provides a further update to the Scrutiny committee on the savings proposals being proposed as part of the 2021/22 budget process and reflects any feedback from the November Scrutiny committees. The savings proposals will be considered by all six Scrutiny Committees for those areas within their remit, prior to going out to public consultation.

Additional documents:

ALMO – outcome of the offer to tenant’s consultation

 

Report to follow

Affordable housing delivery update

 

Report to follow

Our Manchester Strategy Reset – Draft Strategy  PDF 293 KB

 

This report provides an update on the draft Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 reset document. A draft of the reset Strategy is appended to this report.

Additional documents:

Economy COVID19 Sit Rep Report

 

Report to follow

 

 

Communities and Inequalities

Thurs 14 at 2pm

Agenda

Neighbourhoods Directorate Budget Proposals 2021/22  PDF 268 KB

 

This report provides a further update on the savings proposals being proposed as part of the 2021/22 budget process and reflects any feedback from the November scrutiny committees. The savings proposals will be considered by all six scrutiny Committees for those areas within their remit, prior to going out to public consultation.

In order to aid Members any changes since the November scrutiny reports have been highlighted.

Additional documents:

Our Manchester Strategy Reset – Draft Strategy  PDF 292 KB

 

This report provides an update on the draft Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 reset document. A draft of the reset Strategy is appended to this report.

Additional documents:

Manchester’s Park Development Programme 2021 – 2025  PDF 261 KB

 

This report provides an update on the progress and future programme of investment for parks that will accelerate delivery of the Park Strategy and support the delivery of revenue savings beyond 2021.

Additional documents:

Update on COVID-19 Activity – to follow

 

Update on COVID-19 Activity – to follow

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