Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 8th January, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Oldham, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1NL

Contact: Liz Drogan 

Items
No. Item

1.

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Briggs, Councillor H. Gloster, Councillor Hobin, Councillor Ibrahim and Councillor Sykes.

2.

To order that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 6th November 2019 be signed as a correct record pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 6th November 2019 be agreed as a correct record.

3.

To receive declarations of interest in any matter to be determined at the meeting

Minutes:

In accordance with the Code of Conduct, elected members declared the following interests:

 

Councillor C. Gloster declared a pecuniary interest at Item 8d by virtue of his employment by Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor Garry declared a pecuniary interest at Item 8d by virtue of her husband’s employment by Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor Roberts declared a personal interest at Item 8c, Cabinet Minutes, 18 November 2019, by virtue of her appointment to the Positive Steps Board.

Councillor Harkness declared a personal interest at Item 8c, Cabinet Minutes, 18 November 2019, by virtue of his appointment to the Positive Steps Board.

Councillor Shuttleworth declared a personal interest at Item 8c, Cabinet Minutes, 18 November 2019, by virtue of his appointment to the Positive Steps Board.

Councillor Malik declared a personal interest at Item 8c, Cabinet Minutes, 18 November 2019, by virtue of his appointment to the Positive Steps Board.

Councillor Haque declared a personal interest at Item 8c, Cabinet Minutes, 18 November 2019, by virtue of his appointment to the Positive Steps Board.

Councillor Chauhan declared a personal interest at Item 8c, Cabinet Minutes, by virtue of his work with the Homeless Friendly Charity.

Councillor Chadderton declared a pecuniary interest at Item 9, Motion 2, by virtue of her employment with Manchester City Council.

Councillor Hamblett declared a personal interest by virtue of his appointment to the MioCare Board.

 

4.

To deal with matters which the Mayor considers to be urgent business

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

5.

To receive communications relating to the business of the Council

Minutes:

The Mayor made reference to the recent death of former Councillor and Mayor Derek Heffernan.

 

Council held a minute’s silence.

 

Councillors C. Gloster, Harkness, Hudson, Fielding, Ball, Ur-Rehman and Williams paid tribute to the work of former Councillor and Mayor Derek Heffernan.

 

Council congratulated Councillor Chauhan, Cabinet Member Health and Social Care, on the award of his OBE.

 

Council also congratulated Mohammed Ashraf Ali on being awarded an MBE, Ibrahim Yousaf, the youngest person in the country to be awarded a BEM and Subnum Harrif-Khan and Hilda Broadbent on being awarded a BEM.

 

The Mayor informed the meeting that a request had been received from Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council, who wished to make statement.  Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council, provided the following statement:

“Since allegations of malpractice around historic child sexual exploitation cases first surfaced, we have taken them seriously.  It is important that residents feel assured that the Council and its partners are doing everything possible to keep children safe.

For that reason I, along with Henri Geller, the chair of the Safeguarding Partnership for Oldham, wrote to Andy Burnham requesting that an independent review into historic safeguarding in Oldham take place as part of a major piece of work looking to improve safeguarding across Greater Manchester.  I’m now providing an update to councillors and the public on progress.

Mayor Burnham also holds the role of Police and Crime Commissioner.  In September 2017 he launched an independent assurance exercise to consider how Greater Manchester does and should respond to child sexual exploitation.

Using the same methodology and approach for the Oldham review makes it possible to utilise the same team, expertise and processes.  This will make the Oldham review as effective and thorough as possible.

As for the first stage of the Greater Manchester review into historical CSE, the Oldham workstream will be led by Malcolm Newsam CBE and Gary Ridgway.  Malcolm and Gary will bring their huge experience in children’s social care and policing to the work, and I can assure residents that they will have the full cooperation of the council for anything they require.  Malcolm and Gary will bring a level of knowledge, true independence and expertise that is unsurpassable, which includes looking at cases in other places like Rotherham and Manchester.

The terms of reference for the review, which set out its scope, methodology, governance and resourcing, will be confirmed next week.  These will be publicly available.  Timelines for reporting will be determined by the review team themselves, to make sure their report is conducted thoroughly, while also recognising the need for public clarity as soon as possible in relation to historic allegations.

For the review team to conduct their work effectively it is absolutely vital that anyone with evidence of historic failings presents this for consideration.  As we have previously said, if anybody has evidence of offences, recent or historic, or concerns about the safety of an individual or group of individuals, please contact Oldham’s multi-agency safeguarding hub in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

To receive and note petitions received relating to the business of the Council pdf icon PDF 22 KB

(time limit 20 minutes)

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that two petitions had been received for noting by Council:

 

People and Place

 

Reference 2019-11: Petition regarding the Footpath on the Bridge on Delph New Road (Saddleworth North Ward) received on 8 November 2019 with 483 signatures

 

Reference 2019-02:  Petition requesting a 20 MPH Scheme for Dobcross (Saddleworth North Ward) received on 8 November 2019 with 523 signatures

 

RESOLVED that the petitions received since the last meeting of the Council be noted.

7.

Youth Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

 

Make Your Mark

Make Your Mark is a UK wide consultation on issues important to young people aged 11 – 18. This ballot goes out to all high schools in Oldham, so that pupils can vote on what they feel is important in their lives and what they think Members of the Youth Parliament should campaign on for the year ahead. For the last 7 years the Youth Council has co-ordinated the consultation for Oldham. 

 

Due to the devolved nature of politics and services such as the NHS and Policing, this year the consultation changed and young people were given 3 different categories with 5 issues within each category to vote upon. The 3 categories were:

       UK wide issues

       Devolved issues

       Local issues. 

 

The issues for UK wide and devolved categories were debated and chosen by the UK Youth Parliament and the local issues were debated and chosen by the Oldham Youth Council. Young people taking part in the consultation had the opportunity to vote for 1 issue from each category.

 

This year approximately 11,500 young people across Oldham were involved in the consultation which represents over 45% of Oldham’s 11-18 population.

 

Of the 5 issues in the UK wide issues category, unsurprisingly, ‘Protect the Environment’ was the top UK wide issue for Oldham’s Young People, with 4,515 votes. This represented nearly 40% of all votes cast and was over double the number of votes cast on any other issue.  There was a similar result in the Devolved issues category with ‘Put an end to Knife Crime’ gaining 4,199 votes (36.7% of votes cast) again nearly double the votes cast any other issue.

 

The local issues category results had a clear winner, public transport was the top issue with 3,855 (34.8% of the votes cast).

 

The Youth Council have drafted a report, with a full breakdown of the Make Your Mark results both locally and nationally, that elected Members should have received. The report also breaks down the results by school which will allow Members to see how young people in your ward voted.

 

The results of the consultation have enabled the Youth Council to prioritise our work on environment, knife crime and youth violence and looking at public transport. We had already started work on environmental issues through a programme named Pioneers of Sustainable Hope (or POSH). A charter of young people’s environmental rights has been developed (that is out for consultation), are creating resources to help young people be more environmentally friendly - which will be handed out at our Eco festival (as part of our youth summit) and we have joined your cross-party climate change group.

 

Knife crime will also be one of the topics that we look at during our youth summit in February 2019. We are also researching how other areas of the UK, such as Glasgow and Brixton, have tackled youth violence through the public health model and hope to visit some places to see what could  ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.

Minutes:

The Youth Council PROPOSED the following MOTION:

 

Make Your Mark

“Make Your Mark is a UK wide consultation on issues important to young people aged 11 – 18.  This ballot goes out to all high schools in Oldham, so that pupils can vote on what they feel is important in their lives and what they think Members of the Youth Parliament should campaign on for the year ahead.  For the last 7 years the Youth Council has co-ordinated the consultation for Oldham.

Due to the devolved nature of politics and services such as the NHS and Policing, this year the consultation changed and young people were given 3 different categories with 5 issues within each category to vote upon.  The 3 categories with 5 issues within each category to vote upon.  The 3 categories were:

·       UK wide issues

·       Devolved issues

·       Local issues.

The issues for UK wide and devolved categories were debated and chosen by the UK Youth Parliament and the local issues were debated and chosen by the Oldham Youth Council.  Young people taking part in the consultation had the opportunity to vote for 1 issue from each category.

This year approximately 11,500 young people across Oldham were involved in the consultation which represents over 45% of Oldham’s 11 – 18 population.

Of the 5 issues in the UK wide issues category, unsurprisingly, ‘Protect the Environment’ was the top UK wide issue for Oldham’s Young People, with 4,515 votes.  This represented nearly 40% of all votes cast and was over double the number of votes cast on any other issue.  There was a similar in the Devolved issues category with ‘Put an end to Knife Crime’ gaining 4,199 votes (36.7% of votes cast) again nearly double the votes cast any other issue.

The local issues category results had a clear winner, public transport was the top issue with 3,855 (34.8% of the votes cast).

The Youth Council have drafted a report, with a full breakdown of the Make Your Mark results both locally and nationally, that elected Members should have received.  The report also breaks down the results by school which will allow Members to see how young people in your ward voted.

The results of the consultation have enabled the Youth Council to prioritise our work on environment, knife crime and youth violence and looking at public transport.  We had already started work on environmental issues through a programme named Pioneers of Sustainable Hope (or POSH).  A charter of young people’s environmental rights has been developed (that is out for consultation), are creating resources to help young people be more environmentally friendly – which will be handed out at our Eco festival (as part of our youth summit) and we have joined your cross-party climate change group.

Knife crime will also be one of the topics that we look at during our youth summit in February 2019.  We are also researching how other areas of the UK, such as Glasgow and Brixton, have tackled youth violence through the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Question Time

8a

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 119 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

The following pubic questions were not reached in the time allocated.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that the next item on the agenda was Public Question Time.  Questions had been received from members of the public and would be taken in the order in which they had been received.  Council was advised that if the questioner was not present, the question would be read out by the Mayor.

 

The following questions were submitted:

 

1.       Question received from Ruth Major via email:

 

         I'm an active member of the community and regularly encourage residents to partake in litter picking activities, not only in Oldham but across the country. You can see all the work I do if you follow me on twitter @ruthmajor44 and on my blog page: www.rubbishruthsrambles.co.uk.  I am aware of the Leader’s investment in street cleaners so please could you tell me if recruitment to the new posts has now been completed? I’m also interested to know what we, as a town, are doing to actively engage schools/ communities/ businesses & commerce in the reduction of littering and in the encouragement of people to ‘love where they live’.”

 

          Councillor Ur-Rehman, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods Services, thanked Ms. Major for her fantastic campaign and service to the community.  While the Council had invested to increase the amount of street cleaning in the borough, Oldham would only be clean and tidy with the support and efforts of residents and Ms. Major represented the very best in that regard.  It was confirmed that all the appointments had now been made with the additional funding put into street cleaning and the Council continued to work with local schools on a variety of campaigns often supported by the work of local communities which varies in each of the local Districts.  For a more detailed update in each area and how best to engage with local activity, residents were encouraged to contact the local District officers.  A full list was available on the Council’s website.

 

2.       Question received from Maureen Aldred via email:

 

          “My husband and I took our Grandchildren to the Oldham Christmas Lights Switch On and I just want to say what a fantastic event it was. It was well organised and the Grandchildren particularly enjoyed Hey Duggee from CBeebies. Despite the cuts, and the criticism which I am sure you must get from some quarters for spending money on this, I want to praise the Council for continuing to run this event. It is great for families and, of course, is free.  I hope that you will continue to run these types of events and wonder if you could tell us what other free Council-organised events we have to look forward to over the coming months?”

 

          Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economy and Enterprise thanked Mrs. Aldred for her question and feedback.  The Leader responded that there was no better place to be at Christmas than Oldham.  There were a number of free high-quality events lined-up across the festive season which included Santa’s Reindeer Parade, Oldham’s Christmas Lights Switch-On  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8a

8b

Questions to Leader and Cabinet

(time limit 30 minutes)

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader of the Main Opposition, Councillor C. Gloster, raised the following two questions:

 

Question 1: Adopt the 50 Point Climate Action Plan

 

“I hope that all members present will agree that arguing and debating for green policy at a local level makes all the difference when we take the challenge to central government.  The Liberal Democrats bringing the issue of climate change to council sets us on the right track, but it does not take us all the way.  The threat of climate change can be seen globally and locally as our weather becomes increasingly unpredictable.  Although some here might chuckle that Oldham weather has always been unpredictable.  In all seriousness, it’s one thing declaring a climate change emergency, but we must follow this through.  We are part of this world, and if we fail to acknowledge it, we fail in every other purpose we strive towards.  We must act on the declaration and make headway towards achieving an environmentally friendly Oldham Borough.  The environmental charity Friends of the Earth have realised a 50-point plan for Councils.  This is to help authorities like Oldham enact on our emergency climate change declaration.  As Councillors we campaign through Council to make our voice heard by the UK government.  I will not sound off every single points of the plan here tonight, bit I do ask the Leader if he will prescribe this Borough to the Friends of the Earth 50 point climate action plan so that officers and members can be made best aware of how to tackle the issue of climate change in Oldham Borough.”

 

Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council, wished the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Sykes, a speedy recovery.

Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council confirmed that as a result of a Liberal Democrat motion the Council had declared a Climate Emergency.  Prior to that the Labour Administration had put forward a motion to establish a Green New Deal.  Declaring a Climate Emergency was not enough and it was the action that followed that determined how the authority would tackle the climate emergency.  In time, the Green New Deal would be declared and contained measures intended to take on energy efficiency, improve recycling rates, reducing the use of plastics and combatting climate change generally.  The Leader welcomed the support from the Opposition on this matter.  It was incredibly important which had been brought home particularly by the Australian bushfires.  The Leader was keen that the Council was at the forefront of plans in Local Government to tackle Climate Emergency and would be when the Green New Deal was published.

 

Question 2:  Interserve £10 Million Scheme

 

“In October 2019 it was revealed that Interserve will receive 13 million pounds of Oldham Council money to redevelop Oldham’s cultural art centre.  Culture is incredibly important, it defines who we are and our civilisation.  Teaching old and young about our local worth, arms our economy and society with confidence to do great deeds themselves.  A 13-million-pound scheme must be incredibly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8b

8c

Questions on Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 128 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

21st October 2019

18th November 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council were requested to note the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on the undermentioned dates and to receive any questions on any items within the minutes from members of the Council who were not members of the Cabinet and receive responses from Cabinet members.  The minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 21st October 2019 and 18th November 2019 were submitted.

 

Members raised the following questions:

 

1.       Councillor Hamblett, Cabinet Minutes 18 November 2019, Item 9, Homeless Friendly.  Councillor Hamblett referred to the Housing Options service being returned in-house and sought assurance that those who were homeless without means of travel could access the service.

 

          Councillor Roberts, Cabinet Member for Housing, responded that a review was being undertaken on the way housing options was delivered as it had been in operation for six months and would ensure that the issue would be taken into account with staffing structures.

 

2.       Councillor Al-Hamdani, Cabinet Minutes 21 October 2019, Item 7, Saddleworth School Update.  Councillor Al-Hamdani welcomed the work to have a school of a decent standard and the additional funding.  Councillor Al-Hamdani had been notified of work being initiated before the licence related to bat roofs.  What engagement was in place between the Council and residents to manage the process to address concerns and if any oversight was in place so this did not happen on this or any development.

 

          Councillor Roberts, Cabinet Member for Housing, responded that she was aware of the issue with the bats and would have an answer later in the week.  With regard to the issue of addressing concerns, Councillor Roberts explained that the issue had already been raised between the Council’s responsibility and the construction company’s and had asked that when work was about to begin understand what resident needed to know and contact information be made available about relevant works with clear indications as to whom to approach on any issues.

 

3.       Councillor C. Gloster, Cabinet Minutes, 18 November 2019, Item 10 Proposed Charging Scheme for Pre-Application Advice for Planning Proposals.  Councillor C. Gloster asked about the reasons behind the decision, when charging would start, was it intended to recruit additional staff or just receive the money for same staff and an overworked service?

 

          Councillor Roberts, Cabinet Member for Housing, responded that it was not yet clear what the level of income would be.  The intention was to use the income to support the service and this would be reviewed.  There would be a charge for advice which was not different from other local authorities and it was not sure what would happen with the workload.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.       The minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 21st October 2019 and 18th November 2019 be noted.

2.       The questions and responses provided be noted.

8d

Questions on Joint Arrangements/Partnerships pdf icon PDF 436 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

Greater Manchester Waste and Recycling Committee

12th September 2019

Oldham Leadership Board

21st November 2019

Health and Wellbeing Board

24th September 2019

Police and Crime Panel

23rd September 2019

Commissioning Partnership Board

31st October 2019

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

25th October 2019

Greater Manchester Transport Committee

11th October 2019

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council was asked to note the minutes of the following Joint Authority and Partnership meetings and the relevant spokespersons to respond to questions from Members.

 

The minutes of the following Joint Authorities and Partnerships were submitted as follows:

 

Greater Manchester Waste and Recycling

Committee                                                      12th September 2019

Oldham Leadership Board                               21st November 2019

Health and Wellbeing Board                             24th September 2019

Police and Crime Panel                                   23rd September 2019

Commissioning Partnership Board                   31st October 2019

Greater Manchester Combined Authority          25th October 2019

Greater Manchester Transport Committee        11th October 2019

 

Members raised the following questions:

 

1.       Councillor Murphy, Greater Manchester Waste and Recycling Committee Minutes, 12 September 2019, Item WRC 19/27 – Waste Management Contract Update.  Councillor Murphy asked about the recent changes to the number of journeys residents could make to local tips, what the mechanics were, how the system would be operated and what would happen if residents exceeded the number of visits?

 

          Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council responded that there was only a problem if visits were made more than 52 times a year.  This would cause the vehicle to be flagged up and the vehicle checked.  The system had been introduced as there had been an abuse of the system with commercial operations and people from outside Greater Manchester.  The introduction of this scheme brought Greater Manchester into line with other parts of the country.

 

2.       Councillor Hamblett, Health and Wellbeing Board, 24th September 2019, Item 11 GM Common Standards for Population Health – Update.  Councillor Hamblett asked about what management would be put into place to ensure the borough became a healthier place to live.

 

          Councillor Harrison, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, responded that she would respond to Councillor Hamblett’s question regarding each section.  In terms of public health interest across Greater Manchester attainment of similar standards across GM had been highlighted to Board.  Councillor Chauhan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care added that there were a number of areas to address related to prevention which included keeping future generations happy and working with schools which would include health checks.  Councillor Chauhan also highlighted tackling obesity, designing specialist services and other issues at a good level.

 

3.       Councillor S. Bashforth, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, 25th October 2019, Item 224/19 Greater Manchester Armed Forces Covenant Delivery, Bullet Point 8.  Councillor S. Bashforth asked if the change in housing policy to assist veterans to be rehoused quickly had been implemented. 

 

Councillor Roberts, Cabinet Member for Housing, responded that the policy had been adopted.

 

4.       Councillor Hulme, Greater Manchester Transport Committee, 11 October 2019, GMTC 47/19, GM Prospectus for Rail & Strategic Rail Update: HS2 / NPR and Tram-Train.  Councillor Hulme asked about progress regarding potential of expansion with a train station in Diggle.

 

          Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council, responded that he had raised the issue as it had not been represented in the 2014 Master Plan and Saddleworth was underserved with transport links.  It was important to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8d

9.

Notice of Administration Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

Councillor Shah to MOVE and Councillor Hamblett to SECOND:

 

Tackling Harassment and Abuse in Public Life

This council acknowledges the announcement in the Queens Speech that “Ministers will develop legislation to improve internet safety for all” and note many recent reports on online harassment and abuse of those in public life.

 

This council also notes representations made by the cross party Local Government Association where they state; “Harassment, threats and intimidation of local elected representatives are completely unacceptable, and must be dealt with robustly at all levels. This includes the Government, by councils, private sector; by the police and, where relevant, by the social media companies which provide platforms for specific forms of abuse.”

 

This council believes in the right of those democratically elected by the residents of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham to carry out their duties without the fear of harassment and abuse.

 

We therefore support any efforts by government and those of the Local Government Association in ensuring the protection of our democracy, while recognising the importance of free speech and expression.

 

This Council resolves:

·         To write to the borough’s MPs to seek their support in tackling harassment and abuse in public life.

·         To write to the Minister for the Cabinet Office to seek a cross government response in tackling harassment and abuse in public life.

·         To write to the Chair and Chief Executive of the Local Government Association to thank them for representations made to date on the issue.

 

Motion 2

Councillor Stretton to MOVE and Councillor Phythian to SECOND:

 

Government-funded Pay Rise for Council Staff

This council notes that since 2010 Oldham Council has lost £208million from its annual budget following government cuts, with local councils facing a funding gap of £8 billion by 2025 according to the LGA. These cuts have meant the local government workforce has endured years of pay restraint with the majority of pay points losing 22 per cent of their value since 2009/10. At the same time workers are asked to do more, taking on additional responsibilities and heavier workloads.

 

Without the professionalism and dedication of our staff, the council services Oldham residents rely on would not be deliverable. Government funding has been cut to the extent that a proper pay rise could result in a reduction in local government services. This council believes that the government needs to take responsibility and fully fund increases in pay; it should not put the burden on local authorities whose funding has been cut to the bone.

 

This Council resolves to:

·         Support the NJC pay claim submitted by GMB, UNISON and Unite on behalf of council and school workers for a 10 per cent uplift across pay points in 2020/21.

·         Call on the Local Government Association to make urgent representations to central government to fund the NJC pay claim

·         Write to the Chancellor and Secretary of State to call for a pay increase for local government workers to be funded with new money from central government.

·         Meet  ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

Minutes:

Motion 1 – Tackling Harassment and Abuse in Public Life

 

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Hamblett SECONDED the following MOTION:

“This Council acknowledges the announcement in the Queens Speech that ‘Ministers will develop legislation to improve internet safety for all’ and note many recent reports on online harassment and abuse of those in public life.

This council also notes representations made by the cross party Local Government Association where they state; ‘Harassment, threats and intimidation of local elected representatives are completely unacceptable, and must be dealt with robustly at all levels.  This includes the Government, by councils, private sector; by the police and, where relevant, by the social media companies which provide platforms for specific forms of abuse’.

This council believes in the right of those democratically elected by the residents of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham to carry out their duties without the fear of harassment and abuse.

We therefore support any efforts by government and those of the Local Government Association in ensuring the protection of our democracy, while recognising the importance of free speech and expression.

This Council resolves:

·       To write to the borough’s MPs to seek their support in tackling harassment and abuse in public life.

·       To write to the Minister for the Cabinet Office to seek a cross government response in tackling harassment and abuse in public life.

·       To write to the Chair and Chief Executive of the Local Government Association to thank them for representations made to date on the issue.”

 

Councillor Mushtaq spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Al-Hamdani spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Taylor spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Ur-Rehman spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Toor spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor S. Bashforth spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Fielding spoke in support of the Motion.

 

Councillor Shah exercised her right of reply.

 

On being put to the vote, the MOTION was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.       The Borough MP’s be written to, to seek their support in tackling harassment and abuse in public life.

2.       The Minister for the Cabinet Office be written to, to seek a cross government response in tackling harassment and abuse in public life.

3.       The Chair and Chief Executive of the Local Government Association be written to, to thank them for their representations made to date on the issue.

 

Motion 2 – Government-funded Pay Rise for Council Staff

 

Councillor Stretton MOVED and Councillor Phythian SECONDED the following motion:

“This council notes that since 2010 Oldham Council has lost £208million from its annual budget following government cuts, with local councils facing a funding gap of £8 billion by 2025 according to the LGA.  These cuts have meant the local government workforce has endured years of pay restraint with the majority of pay points losing 22 per cent of their value since 2009/10.  At the same time workers are asked to do more, taking on additional responsibilities and heavier workloads.

Without the professionalism and dedication of our staff,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Notice of Opposition Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

Councillor Harkness to MOVE and Councillor Williamson to SECOND:

 

Confronting the school’s cuts crisis

This Council notes that:

·         Many schools in Oldham Borough are not receiving the minimum funding of £3,500 per pupil for primary schools and £4,800 for secondary schools, as guaranteed by the Conservative Government’s National Funding Formula.

·         Oldham Borough is ranked 73 out of 149 local authorities (149 being the lowest funded) in England for 2020-2021 school funding.

·         There is an unacceptable shortfall for 2020. Oldham schools are predicted to lose more than £12 million in funding, an average of approximately £238 per pupil.

·         Schools are struggling to maintain the standard of education with the level of cuts faced.

·         Some schools are attempting to reduce the number of special needs pupils accepted because of the funding gap.

This Council resolves to:

·         Have the Leader of the Council write to the Minister of Education asking for recognition of the harm that school cuts are having on the standard of education in this country and in Oldham Borough.

·         Have the Chief Executive write to the Minister of Education and the Prime Minister asking them to acknowledge the 2019 Spending Review and address the issue of school funding. The letter should state that all schools must receive the minimum funding as guaranteed by the National Funding Formula, as well as fully funding the High Needs Block.

 

Motion 2

Councillor Sykes to MOVE and Councillor Murphy to SECOND:

 

Urban Meadows and Bee Corridors for a greener Oldham

This Council notes that:

·         Recent work in other areas of the country has seen grass verges and dual carriageway centres transformed into wildflower corridors teeming with flora and fauna.

·         These urban Meadows have multiple benefits for the areas that have been created.  They enhance the support for wildlife thus delivering biodiversity and increasing the natural beauty and appeal of an area. 

·         Nature sites attract new visitors who come to see the colourful arrays created.

·         Bee Corridors will reduce the maintenance costs due to the low maintenance of such areas.

·         With bits of wood and plastic and in partnership with schools and youth groups, Insect Hotels will be built along the flowery corridors to attract as much wildlife as possible.

·         The purpose of this scheme is to combat the dramatic loss of habitat and falling bee numbers. Insect numbers influence plant pollination and other species depend upon their existence.

·         Although these urban Meadows are not for every community space and roadside, by increasing the local biodiversity in Oldham borough will have a positive effect on learning, mental health and overall appeal in the area.

·         If a green Oldham is the ambition, this motion takes us a step forward to achieving that.

 

This Council resolves to:

·         Have officers assess the feasibility of establishing Wildflower corridors, insect hotels and urban meadows across the Borough. Officers should also work closely with Parish Councillors and Borough Councils on this matter.

·         A report highlighting potential locations and areas suitable should be presented to Cabinet  ...  view the full agenda text for item 10.

Minutes:

Motion 1 – Confronting the school’s cuts crisis

 

Councillor Harkness, as MOVER of the MOTION had indicated that he wished to alter the MOTION.  The ALTERED MOTION was SECONDED by Councillor Williamson.

 

Councillor Harkness MOVED and Councillor Williamson SECONDED the following motion:

 

 “This Council notes that:

·       Although additional funding has been allocated to schools for 2020/21, this will does not compensate for the lack of real terms funding to reflect pay and price increases in previous years.

·       Oldham Borough is ranked 73 out of 149 local authorities (149 being the lowest funded) in England for 2020-2021 school funding.

·       Schools are struggling to maintain the standard of education due to the cumulative effect of underfunding over many years, particularly as the level of High Needs funding has not kept pace with the increase in pupils with Special Educational Needs.

·       Some schools are attempting to reduce the number of special needs pupils accepted because of the funding gap.

The Council resolves to:

·       Have the Leader of the Council write to the Minister of Education asking for recognition of the harm that the understanding of schools has had on the standard of education in this country and in Oldham Borough and to do more to address the shortfall in funding for schools.

 

AMENDMENT

 

Councillor Mushtaq MOVED and Councillor Moores SECONDED the following AMENDMENT:

“Add new section after this Council notes:

This Council further notes the pledges made during the 2019 General Election on school funding by the 3 main UK-wide parties:

-        The Conservatives’ manifesto confirmed previously committed funding through to 2022/23 only.  Schools will have £2bn less spending power in 2020/21 than they did in 2015/16.

-        Labour pledged to reverse school cuts in the first year of Government and introduce ‘a fairer funding formula’ that would have left ‘no child worse off’.  As a result, schools would have had £1.4bn more spending power in 2020/21 than they did in 2015/16.  Funding would have been £3.2bn higher than the 2015/16 baseline in 2023/24.

-        The Liberal Democrats promised to restore school funding to the 2015/16 per-pupil baseline in real terms.  They pledged the same real terms spending power in 2020/21 as schools had in 2015/16.  However, their manifesto did not address historic underfunding prior to 2015/16.

The amended motion to read:

This Council notes that:

·       Although additional funding has been allocated to schools for 2020/21, this does not compensate for the lack of real terms funding to reflect pay and price increases in previous years.

·       Oldham Borough is ranked 73 out of 149 local authorities (149 being the lowest funded) in England for 2020-21 school funding.

·       Schools are struggling to maintain the standard of education due to the cumulative effect of underfunding over many years, particularly as the level of High Needs funding has not kept pace with the increase in pupils with Special Educational Needs

·       Some schools are attempting to reduce the number of special needs pupils accepted because of the funding gap.

This Council further notes the pledges made during  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Update on Actions from Council pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Legal Services which informed members of actions that had been taken following previous Council meetings and provided feedback on issues raised at those meetings.

 

Councillor Fielding spoke on the report.

 

RESOLVED that the actions taken regarding motions and actions from previous Council meetings be agreed and correspondence and updated received be noted.

12.

Levy Allocation Methodology Agreement pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of Director of Environmental Services and the Director of Finance which provided an update on the Levy Allocation Methodology Agreement (LAMA).

 

The Waste Management Levy Allocation Methodology (LAMA) was a proposed 6-year agreement between the 9 District Authorities subject to the Combined Authority waste disposal arrangements which fairly allocated fixed and variable disposal costs through the levy.  A review of current methodology, the Inter-Authority Agreement (IAA) was deemed appropriate following the recent procurement exercise which resulted in a fundamentally revised contract to deliver waste disposal.

Agreement to the methodology was sought partially through the first year of a 7-year contract.  There was the option to extend the contract by a further 3 years following a review with the contractor.  The LAMA, as outlined at Appendix A to the report, was the proposed method for allocating the Waste and Resources budget between the constituent Districts and replaced, for 2019/20, the current Inter Authority Agreement (IAA).

The revised agreement had been subject to scrutiny by the Overview and Scrutiny Performance and Value for Monday (PVFM) Select Committee at its meeting held on 7th November 2019 and was considered and agreed by Cabinet on 18th November 2019.

Council must give formal approval to comply with the requirements of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the Levy Allocation Methodology Agreement (LAMA) report be noted and that the LAMA be accepted as the new agreement between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

13.

Treasury Management Mid-Year Review pdf icon PDF 280 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Finance which advised on the performance of the Treasury Management Function of the Council for the first half of 2019/2020 and provided a comparison of performance against the 2019/2020 Treasury Management Strategy and Prudential Indicators.

 

The Council was required to consider the performance of the Treasury Management function in order to comply with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) Code of Practice on Treasury Management (revised 2017).  The report therefore set out the key Treasury Management Issues for Members information and review and outlined:

·       An economic update for the first six months of 2019/20;

·       A review of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy;

·       The Council’s capital expenditure, as set out in the Capital Strategy, and prudential indicators);

·       A review of the Council’s investment portfolio for 2019/20;

·       A review of the Council’s borrowing strategy for 2019/20;

·       Why there had been no debt rescheduling undertaken during 2019/20; and

·       A review of compliance with Treasury and Prudential Limits for 2019/20.

 

The mid-year 2019 treasury management position had been scrutinised by the Audit Committee at its meeting on 14 November 2019 and was considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 18 November 2019.  Both the Audit Committee and Cabinet were content to commend the mid-year report to Council for approval.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.       The Treasury Management activity for the first half of the financial year 2019/2020 and the projected outturn position be approved.

2.       The amendments to both Authorised Limit and Operational Boundary for external debt as set out in the table at Section 2.4.5 of the report be approved.

3.       The amendments to the Capital Financing Requirement (CFR) as set out in the table at Section 2.4.5 of the report be approved.

4.       The addition to the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/2020 with regard to specified investments as presented at Appendix 3 to the report be approved.

14.

Constitutional Amendments pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which sought approval for amendments to the Council’s Constitution.

A refresh of the Council’s Constitution had been undertaken with two principal objectives.  The first was to ensure that all legislative and procedural references were current and up to date, including cross referencing to detailed procedures from more descriptive content and, secondly, looked to simplify, so far as possible, what would always be a complex procedural document to aid both understanding and application to practical circumstances.

The Council’s Constitution was based around guidance and a suggested model proposed in conjunction with the Local Government Act 2000.  Whilst the Council’s procedures and principal references in the Constitution had been updated over time, the piecemeal nature of the legislative developments had likewise been reflected in the piecemeal amending of the Constitution.  Amendments over time had been made to deliver the immediate implication of the legislation.  As a result, content might not ‘flow’, cross referencing might not be complete and incidental change not always be appreciated.  The Review sought to bring coherence to these piecemeal amendments and ensure that incidental and cross references were incorporated in full.

 

The highlights of the review included:

·       Part 1: Summary and Explanation;

·       Part 2: Articles;

·       Part 4A: Council Procedure Rules;

·       Part 4B: Access to Information Procedure Rules;

·       Part 4C: Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules; and

·       Part 4D: Executive Procedure Rules.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.       The suggested amendments to the Constitution as detailed at Appendices 1 – 6 of the report be agreed.

2.       Any consequential amendments arising from the suggested amendments be delegated to the Director of Legal.

15.

Financial Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council gave consideration to a report of the Director of Finance on Revision to Finance Procedure Rules.

There was a requirement to review the Financial Procedure Rules (FPRs) on a regular basis. Over the past few months a detailed review had been undertaken by officers from Finance, Internal Audit and Constitutional Services Teams.  This had resulted in a range of proposed changes to improve the Financial Procedure Rules so they reflected current best practice.

Whilst the currently rules had served the Council well and remained fully functional, the revised Financial Procedure Rules as outlined at Appendix 1 to the report was recommended for approval.  The summary of changes was quite extensive and outlined at Section 2.3 of the report.  It was essential that the Council’s FPRs reflected best practice and were updated with recent local and national changes.

 

RESOLVED that the revisions to the Financial Procedure Rules be approved.

16.

Civic Appreciation Nomination 2020 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Legal Services which sought approval for the nomination of Myra Wyers to receive the Council’s Civic Appreciation Award.

 

The nomination was in recognition of Ms. Wyers’ significant voluntary contribution and dedication to the local community and borough of Oldham.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.       The nomination of Myra Wyers to receive the Civic Appreciation Award be agreed.

2.       The ceremony for the award to take place at the Council meeting to be held on 18th March 2020.

 

17.

Municipal Calendar 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council gave consideration to a report of the Director of Legal Services which sought approval of the draft Calendar of Meetings for the 2020/2021 Municipal year.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.       The Council’s Calendar of Meetings for the Municipal Year 2020/2021 as set out in Appendix 1 of the report be approved.

2.       Approval of any outstanding dates be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with Group Leaders.