Scrutiny Week June 2021 – what can we expect?

So here we are again. The almost-monthly ritual where “scrutiny” is performed (and we mean that word in every sense you can imagine).

This month’s highlights

  • On Tuesday 22nd at 10am, Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee has a rather interesting report – “The impact of climate change as it relates to the responsibilities for the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee” – about all the things they COULD look at, within their remit. Will they choose a few? How many? Which? In which order? Tune in here
  • On Thursday 24th at 10am, Environment & Climate Change is having an Introduction to the Neighbourhood Climate Change Officers  PDF 159 KB But nothing on the Manchester Climate Change “Agency” and all the money (half a million quid over the last 5 years) that has been used to… um… what exactly? Or “Ooops, the city has burnt through a quarter of its carbon budget for the 21st century in the last two years alone and maybe we ought to look at that?”

The other four committees have … nada, zilch, nothing. Not even a report about reports.

Why?

Because, well, the word “emergency” has some secret second definition that the Council is using…

Here’s the long version

Manchester City Council (see our beginner’s guide) has 96 councillors. 94 of them are Labour. There is 1 Liberal Democrat (John Leech, Didsbury East) and 1 Green (Robert Nunney, Woodhouse Park).

There’s a 8 member “Executive”. There are six scrutiny committees that are supposed to make sure promises are being kept, problems with implementation of policy are spotted. But this would involve members of the same party holding the Executive to account. And if you are an ambitious councillor then you quickly figure out – or are gently/forcibly reminded – that vigorous/repeated scrutiny means… annoying those with considerable control over your future. So, councillors start to “phone it in from Milton Keynes” – our pet term for scrutiny that only looks like scrutiny.

This is bad enough in normal times. These are not normal times. The climate emergency (the same one 96 councillors declared all the way back in July 2019) requires honesty, transparency and keeping a very close eye on what is and is not being delivered around climate change. That’s why Climate Emergency Manchester spent almost all of last year on a petition to get a seventh scrutiny committee, devoted to looking not just at the City Council’s actions, but also the city’s. Because the city has burned through a quarter of its carbon budget for the 21st century in the last two years, and nobody in power is taking any responsibility for that, or doing anything beyond the usual….

Communities and InequalitiesTuesday at 10am
Video
Peterloo Memorial  PDF 211 KB
Report of the Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastructure
Support for the culture sector in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic  PDF 187 KB
The Committee will receive a verbal update on developments since the Committee last considered this item at its meeting on 11 March 2021.  The report that was submitted to the 11 March meeting is enclosed as background information.
The impact of climate change as it relates to the responsibilities for the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee  PDF 253 KB
Report of the City Solicitor
 
This report aims to provide a discussion point for the Committee as to the areas within their responsibility where the impact of climate change is of particular relevance. It is also for the Committee to determine which areas within its remit it would like to receive more information on and debate further.
COVID-19 Update  PDF 2 MB
Presentation of the Consultant in Public Health and the Head of Neighbourhoods
 
This presentation focuses on the vaccination programme and how communities have worked together to support its roll-out.

 

Resources and GovernanceTuesday at 2pm
Video link
Future Shape of the Council  PDF 348 KB
Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer attached
 
This report sets out the context and background for the Future Shape of the Council Programme, its priority areas of work and benefits to the Council and its residents.  The digital agenda forms a major workstream within the Future Shape programme and ICT support will be integral to its successful delivery. This paper sets out this work.
Domestic Violence and Abuse Funding  PDF 158 KB
Report of the Strategic Director – Neighbourhoods attached
 
This report sets out the current funding arrangement for Domestic Violence and Abuse services across Manchester. It highlights in particular new investments that the council is making in 2021/22 to help further support victims and children and tackle perpetrator behaviour.
Nursery Funding  PDF 453 KB
Report of the Strategic Director for Children and Education Services attached
 
This report outlines a set of proposals to support the continued provision of high quality Early Years settings across the City. The report specifically provides an overview of the impact of the current Early Years tendered day-care model (whereby providers offer day-care from a Council owned building), on the Council’s duty to oversee sufficient day-care for preschool children across Manchester; the Early Years Budget and ongoing maintenance of Early Years buildings which remain part of the corporate estate

And next up, Health. Fun fact- despite the enormous health implications of climate change, the MCC Health Scrutiny Committee has never looked at climate, despite being asked to. Yeah, it’s an emergency, sure.

HealthWednesday at 10am
Watch video via here.
COVID-19 Update  PDF 110 KB
Report of the Director of Public Health, Manchester City Council and the Medical Director, Manchester Health and Care Commissioning
Strategic scene-setting  PDF 257 KB
Report of the Director of Public Health, the Executive Director Adult Social Services and the Deputy Director Adult Social Services
 
This report and presentations provides an overview of Health inequalities and outcomes in Manchester; an overview of the system wide response with a focus on Manchester’s Local Care Organisation and an update on Better Outcomes, Better Lives, the Manchester Local Care Organisation’s transformation programme for Adult Social Care.

And next up, Children and Young People. Fun fact-despite the enormous interest of young people in climate change, and the implications it has for them, the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee has never looked at climate. Yeah, it’s an emergency, sure.

Children and Young PeopleWednesday at 2pm.
Video link
Update on impact of COVID-19 on children and families with a focus on family poverty  PDF 239 KB
Report of the Director of Education
 
This report, one of a series of scrutiny reports, reports on the impact and consequence management of COVID-19 on children and their families. This report has a particular focus on family poverty and the impact of the pandemic on this. The report outlines the work that has been put in place to try to mitigate this particularly in relation to the provision of food.
The Lodge – Foyer Model Accommodation  PDF 371 KB
Report of the Strategic Director for Children and Education Services
 
This report outlines proposals for the development of a property into foyer model accommodation for up to 30 young people, as part of the Council’s commitment to working closely with housing providers and partners to ensure that all care leavers have access to sustainable and affordable accommodation to meet their needs.
Early Years – Tendered Day-care Settings  PDF 453 KB
Report of the Strategic Director for Children and Education Services
 
This report outlines a set of proposals to support the continued provision of high quality Early Years settings across the City. The report specifically provides an overview of the impact of the current Early Years tendered day-care model (whereby providers offer day-care from a Council owned building), on the Council’s duty to oversee sufficient day-care for preschool children across Manchester; the Early Years Budget and ongoing maintenance of Early Years buildings which remain part of the corporate estate.
Re-establishment of the Ofsted Subgroup  PDF 177 KB
Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit
 
This report provides the Committee with the terms of reference and current work programme for the Ofsted Subgroup. The Committee is asked to re-establish the Ofsted Subgroup for the municipal year 2021 – 2022 and agree the terms of reference, work programme and membership of the Subgroup.

And so on to

Environment and Climate ChangeThursday at 10am
Video link
Manchester’s Park Strategy – Progress through the Pandemic  PDF 296 KB
Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods)
 
This report provides an overview of Manchester’s Park Strategy and the considerations for the Parks Service following the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic.  The report sets out the focus for the service over the next 6 months and outlines how momentum is being maintained on the delivery of the strategic themes despite the significant financial challenges caused by a reduction in permitted activity and trading
Introduction to the Neighbourhood Climate Change Officers  PDF 159 KB
Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods)
 
The report summarises progress since the 3 Climate Neighbourhood Officers were appointed in March and April 2021, how they are approaching their roles and initial areas which they have identified for development.

And next up, Economy. Fun fact- asides a November 2019 report on “Green Jobs” (which were, of course, never properly defined) , the economic implications of climate do not get a run. As our Hung Drawn and Quarterly report showed last month, the whole “green apprenticeships” schtick has been left to swing in the wind. Yeah, it’s an emergency, sure.

EconomyThursday at 2pm.
Video link
Manchester Housing Strategy 2021  PDF 217 KB
Report of the Interim Director of Housing & Residential Growth
 
This report sets the context and outlines the process for developing a new Housing Strategy for Manchester.  The Strategy aims to bring together the previous Housing Strategy (2015 – 21) and the Residential Growth Strategy (2015 – 25) into a single, holistic document.
Refresh of the Manchester’s Work and Skills Strategy  PDF 316 KB
Report of the Director of Inclusive Economy attached
 
This report sets out the approach to refreshing the strategy, taking into account the challenging circumstances created in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the wider strategic and policy context in the city. It introduces the themes which are likely to be the main focuses of the new strategy, the work that will need to be undertaken to fully understand and develop them, key issues and dependencies and an indicative timeline for delivery.
“Refresh” is code for “we didn’t really achieve anything of what we said we would/needed to, because, um reasons. LOOK A SQUIRREL!!) BUt, um, here’s another report.
Economy COVID19 Sit Rep Report
Report to follow

We know (all too well) how depressing and alienating local “democracy” can be, and that it doesn’t HAVE to be this way. But we also know there is a climate emergency going on, and that we have to use our freedom of assembly, speech and information as best we can.

Climate Emergency Manchester is constantly looking for new people to get involved in “Team SF,” which does monthly scrutiny of the council (and much more).

If you’re interested in getting involved, please get in touch – contact@climateemergencymanchester.net

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