Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Wednesday, 16th March, 2022 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 for absence were received from Councillors Cosgrove, Dean, F Hussain, Ibrahim, Kenyon, Leach, K Phythian and Salamat.

2.

To order that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 15th December 2021 and 2nd March 2022 be signed as a correct record pdf icon PDF 732 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Council meetings held on 15th December 2021 and 2nd March 2022, be approved as correct records.

3.

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

Minutes:

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

 

Councillor Chris Gloster declared a non-registerable interest at Item 8d by virtue of his receipt of an occupational pension from Greater Manchester Police.

 

Councillor Hazel Gloster declared a non-registerable interest at Item 8d by virtue of her husband’s receipt of an occupational pension from Greater Manchester Police.

 

Councillor Wilkinson declared a non-registerable interest at Item 8d by virtue of his receipt of an occupational pension from Greater Manchester Police.

 

Councillor Chris Gloster declared an other interest at Item 8d by virtue of his being a member of the Unity Partnership Board.

 

Councillor Jabbar declared an other interest at Item 8d by virtue of his being a member of the Unity Partnership Board.

 

Councillor Hamblett declared an other registerable interest at Item 8d in relation to MioCare, by virtue of being a Council nominee on the Board.

 

Councillor S Bashforth declared an other registerable interest at Item 8d in relation to MioCare, by virtue of being Chair of the Board.

 

Councillor Roberts declared an other registerable interest at Item 8d as a Trustee of Positive Steps.

 

Councillor Birch declared two other registerable interests at Item 8d as a Trustee of Positive Steps and Chair of the Learning Disability Partnership Board.

 

Councillor Malik declared an other registerable interest at Item 8d as a Board Member of Positive Steps.

 

Councillor Shuttleworth declared two other registerable interests at Item 8d as a Board Member of Positive Steps and a Board member of Unity Partnership

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 Council was informed that several Members had indicated they would be retiring at the end of the current Municipal Year.

 

Councillors Shah, Moores and Al-Hamdani paid tribute to the work of Councillor Leach.

 

Councillors Shah, Roberts, Williamson and Byrne paid tribute to the work of Councillor Toor.

 

Councillors Shah and Birch paid tribute to the work of Councillor Alexander.

 

Councillors Stretton, Hobin and C. Gloster paid tribute to the work of Councillor Briggs.

 

Councillors Sheldon, Woodvine, Shah and Al-Hamdani paid tribute to the work of Councillor Curley.

 

Councillors Sheldon and Shah paid tribute to the work of Councillor Abid.

6.

To receive and note petitions received relating to the business of the Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

 

There are no petitions to note.

Minutes:

There were no petitions received to be noted.

7.

Youth Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

 

Safer Streets

Our motion today has come about because of personal experience of some of our Youth Councillors.  Family members and close friends have been the victims of crime on the streets of Oldham.  While the criminals were apprehended, some of us still feel unsafe walking around our local community especially at night.  In working with other youth voice groups and consulting with Oldham’s young people we have found that others feel the same way.

The 2019 UK Youth Parliament’s consultation ‘Make Your Mark’, had ‘Put an End to Knife Crime’ as it’s top issue.  Since that time we have been working and talking to young people about being safe on Oldham’s streets. 

Police figures for Oldham do suggest that Oldham has a higher-than-average crime rate for Greater Manchester.  However, looking at crimes you would expect to increase people feeling unsafe (such as theft from a person, possessions of weapons and drugs offences) these were all lower than the Greater Manchester Police average and were between 1 and 2 per 1,000 population.  Even though violence and sexual offences recorded at around 40 per 1,000 population, this too was below the greater Manchester average.  While we realise crime is still an issue (like the rest of Greater Manchester) it is perhaps the perception of safety that is causing people to not want to go out.

From our consultation approximately one third of young people feel unsafe in their local community at least half of the time and this rises further to 56.5% in communities outside their local area.  Young people told us that they fear crimes such as being mugged, drug related crime and bladed weapon related crime as well as large groups who maybe using alcohol and/or drugs.  This would seem to dispute the figures given for crime in Oldham and does suggest that it is a perceived fear rather than and actual one.

To help feel safer 67% of the 400 respondents wanted more trusted adults such as Police to be more visible and approachable and over half felt that Oldham needed better street lighting to make it lighter while walking at night.  The main suggestion to do this was the use of white LED streetlights rather than the old orange sodium lighting.  Young people also wanted to make any existing CCTV more visible, perhaps with signage or by making it more prominent, so that people knew where to walk. Following our consultation and research over the past 2 years, we ask:

That Council resolves to:

  1. Ask the relevant department to complete a review of the street lighting and CCTV that is used within the borough. 
  2. Investigate if it possible and practicable, that existing lighting is changed to LED lights and CCTV is made as visible as it can be  
  3. Investigate the possibility of installing LED lights in all new street lighting especially in the plans for the town centre.

 

Minutes:

The Youth Council PROPOSED the following MOTION:

Safer Streets

Our motion today has come about because of personal experience of some of our Youth Councillors.  Family members and close friends have been the victims of crime on the streets of Oldham. While the criminals were apprehended, some of us still feel unsafe walking around our local community especially at night.  In working with other youth voice groups and consulting with Oldham’s young people we have found that others feel the same way.

 

The 2019 UK Youth Parliament’s consultation ‘Make Your Mark’, had ‘Put an End to Knife Crime’ as its top issue.  Since that time, we have been working and talking to young people about being safe on Oldham’s streets.

 

Police figures for Oldham do suggest that Oldham has a higher-than-average crime rate for Greater Manchester.  However, looking at crimes you would expect to increase people feeling unsafe (such as theft from a person, possessions of weapons and drugs offences) these were all lower than the Greater Manchester Police average and were between 1 and 2 per 1,000 population.  Even though violence and sexual offences recorded at around 40 per 1,000 population, this too was below the greater Manchester average.  While we realise crime is still an issue (like the rest of Greater Manchester) it is perhaps the perception of safety that is causing people to not want to go out.

 

From our consultation approximately one third of young people feel unsafe in their local community at least half of the time and this rises further to 56.5% in communities outside their local area.  Young people told us that they fear crimes such as being mugged, drug related crime and bladed weapon related crime as well as large groups who maybe using alcohol and/or drugs.  This would seem to dispute the figures given for crime in Oldham and does suggest that it is a perceived fear rather than and actual one.

 

To help feel safer 67% of the 400 respondents wanted more trusted adults such as Police to be more visible and approachable and over half felt that Oldham needed better street lighting to make it lighter while walking at night.  The main suggestion to do this was the use of white LED streetlights rather than the old orange sodium lighting.  Young people also wanted to make any existing CCTV more visible, perhaps with signage or by making it more prominent, so that people knew where to walk.

 

Following our consultation and research over the past 2 years, we ask:

That Council resolves to:

1.    Ask the relevant department to complete a review of the street lighting and CCTV that is used within the borough. 

2.    Investigate if it possible and practicable, that existing lighting is changed to LED lights and CCTV is made as visible as it can be  

3.    Investigate the possibility of installing LED lights in all new street lighting especially in the plans for the town centre.

 

Councillor Hazel Gloster spoke in support of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Questions Time

9.

Public Questions

(time limit 15 Minutes)

Minutes:

1.    Question received from Julie Heywood

‘I attended the big conversation event where I asked a question of Arooj Shah regarding why she originally failed to declare her ownership of Gelato's ice lounge. The leader of Oldham council responded by clearly stating she had been wrongly advised by a council officer when making this declaration, can the appropriate member responsible please confirm: 1. What actions have been taken against this officer who offered this unlawful guidance?; 2. What steps, if any, have been made to review all other councillor declarations to make sure that they have not made the same mistake as Arooj Shah in failing to declare interests in a business that they own?; and, 3.What training, if any has been implemented to make sure that Oldham council officers that advise councillors are familiar with the law?’

 

Councillor Stretton, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, replied… ‘that, it would be inappropriate for the council to comment on any action or proceedings relating to individual members of staff. we can confirm that all staff who support members in filling in their declarations are trained and that elected members are provided with guidance and support in making their declarations.

 

2.    Question received from Paul Shilton

‘Following another incident of treacherous ice and snow causing traffic chaos on ungritted major roads, many residents in Saddleworth West and Lees did their communities proud by assisting the Council in gritting major roads to prevent serious injuries, accidents and keeping traffic flowing. Many streets were identified where additional grit boxes were needed, yet, multiple requests for siting of essential grit boxes have been rejected without consideration, citing a failure to meet winter criteria. Residents have been frustrated by receiving a stock e-mail response that fails to provide confidence that the request has actually been considered. These grit boxes are only being requested where a real need has been identified, and siting should be considered as an exceptional circumstance. Will the Council review the winter criteria in exceptional circumstances in order to enable the community to assist the Council during annual incidences of severe ice and snow?’

 

Councillor Chadderton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, replied… ‘that it is inevitable that some disruption will occur during heavy snowfall, the Highways team monitor conditions and forecasts 24/7 throughout the winter months with all major roads being gritted in advance, during and after winter weather as they are included in the primary gritting network.

 

I can assure you that grit bin requests are all considered independently against a well-established criteria that reflects such things as land height, gradient and climatic zone, however we do not place grit bins on roads treated as part of our primary gritting network.

 

In light of your feedback I have asked that the full assessment for each grit bin request is shared with the resident making the request going forward.’

 

3.    Question received from Gareth Evans

‘We at Hollinwood FC who have been in existence since the 1960’s and provide football  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Questions to Leader and Cabinet

(time limit 30 minutes)

Minutes:

Councillor Sykes, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group:

 

Question 1 – CSE Report

My first question to the Leader tonight is on an issue that many people need much re-assurance on. That is that the report into CSE will be delayed yet again! 

This is after previous delays in January this year and November 2021.

I agree that it is extremely important to ensure that anyone who is bringing forward evidence must be given the opportunity, and I am glad that the people in question now feel confident to bring forward their evidence. 

However, it is vital that for public support in this process to be maintained, there must be a transparent process for the continued investigation taking place.

Even more important there must be clear support for the people who have already given their evidence and who have expected this report to be issued three times already. 

Could the Leader of the Council please confirm? 

What additional support is being given to those members of the public who have courageously stepped forward to give evidence, while this process is delayed again?

Whether the oversight board for the investigation has agreed with the extension of the investigation in this way?  If so, why have they not issued a statement to help re-assure the public.

Also are there any strands of the investigation which are unaffected by the additional interviews, and whether the report could be released in stages, or as an interim report which would allow some of the survivors affected a degree of closure on this stage of their traumatic experiences?

 In addition to the promised public meeting is now not the time that a special Council meeting also considers the report and that a special dedicated scrutiny panel/committee makes sure it is examined in detail and lessons and recommendations are actioned. 

This special scrutiny committee/panel should report regularly to Full Council on progress and on any other matters it sees fit.

 

Councillor Shah, Leader of the Council and Cabinet member for Economic and Social Reform, responded that a public meeting to discuss the outcomes of the report would be convened at the earliest possible opportunity following the publication of the report.

 

Question 2 – Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone

My second question tonight is on what can only be called the shambles that is the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone.

Thank goodness the scheme has been delayed until at least July.  

I do hope the Tory Government, Mayor Burnham and the 10 Leaders in GM have not just kicked the can down the road until after the local elections.

 

·         Who decided that we needed a scheme that covered the whole of GM?

·         A scheme would have a major impact on jobs and businesses? 

·         A scheme that treated air quality on Saddleworth Moor the same as in city centre Salford or Manchester?

·         A scheme that excludes the motorway and trunk road network.

What planet where they on?

Did people not learn anything from the failed congestion charge?

Mayor Burnham  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Questions on Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 222 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

a)    15th November 2021

b)    13th December 2021

c)    24th January 2022

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was requested to note the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on the undermentioned dates, to receive questions on any items within the minutes from members of the Council that are not members of the Cabinet and to receive responses from Cabinet members. The minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 15th November 2021, 13th December 2021 and 24th January 2022 were submitted.

 

Members asked the following questions:-

 

Councillor Hulme asked the following question in relation to Cabinet 13/12/21, Item 9, page106

I note the decision taken by the Council to lease land to enable the NHS to build a Community Diagnostics Hub. Could the Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care say how much this will help hard pressed GP services across Oldham and whether he knows if the NHS is able to fund a new GP health centre in Uppermill?

 

Councillor Chauhan, Cabinet member for Health and Social Care, replied that with regard to the CDH development, this is part of a national capital investment programme to help improve access to diagnostic facilities to enable elective surgery waiting lists to be reduced. Members will be aware that there is now a growing backlog of people waiting for surgery.

In terms of Saddleworth, in the past week the Council Chief Executive, CCG Chief Officer and local GPs at Saddleworth Medical Practice have met to discuss in detail the situation. This has led to a firm commitment to start the process for a feasibility study about healthcare provision and access within the Saddleworth area. No timelines have yet been agreed for this work to complete but the scope was broadly agreed as incorporating the generation of a single understanding of the health and care needs of the local population along with current access to services and facilities with a view to identifying any subsequent options that may be available. The views expressed in the recent Meet the Leader conversations have been heard and are being used to shape this stage of the work and the matter is receiving serious consideration.

 

Councillor Islam asked the following question in relation to Cabinet 24/1/22, item 9, page 106

Recent press reports have highlighted issues with the recruitment and retention of children’s Social Workers in Oldham. Could the Cabinet Member please tell me if this is an issue and if it is, to what extent this contract provides agency social workers to the Council and what other steps are being put in place to rectify the situation?

 

Councillor Moores, Cabinet member for Children and Young People replied that, in response to your question regarding the issues raised in recent press coverage of the recruitment and retention of children’s Social Workers in Oldham we provide the following response:

The turnover rates for qualified children’s social workers in Oldham is 17% compared with the overall Council turnover rate of 11.4%. This is above the England, NW and GM all at 15% but below our Statistical Neighbours at 18%. 

 

The reason that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Questions on Joint Arrangements pdf icon PDF 240 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

Commisisoing Partnership Board

21st October 2021

27th January 2022

Health and Wellbeing Board

16th November 2021

AGMA Executive Board

25th June 2021

GM Transport Committee

15th October 2021

GMCA

26th  November 2021

17th December 2021

28th January 2022

Miocare

14th October 2021

National Park Authority

12th November 2021

7th January 2022

Police, Fire and Crime Panel

22nd October 2021

14th January 2022

31st January 2022

10th February 2022

 

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 Joint Authorities and Partnerships were submitted as follows:

 

Commissioning Partnership Board

21st October 2021

27th January 2022

Health and Wellbeing Board

16th November 2021

AGMA Executive Board

25th June 2021

GM Transport Committee

15th October 2021

GMCA

26th November 2021

17th December 2021

28th January 2022

Miocare

14th October 2021

National Park Authority

12th November 2021

7th January 2022

Police, Fire and Crime Panel

22nd October 2021

14th January 2022

31st January 2022

10th February 2022

 

Members raised the following questions:

 

Councillor Ali asked the following question in relation to Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel 31st January 2022, Minutes PFCP/14/22 p 231

GMP Performance Update

As we speak there are many victims of crime. A few residents who had been the victims of crime have contacted me; they feel let down by the police response. It was great to have Chief of Oldham Police in this Council, talking about their planned changes on reducing crime and improving services offered to victims of crime – while the Council can see a GM wide update from these minutes, it would be helpful for the Council to see a progress report on policing here in Oldham. Will the Leader of the Council be prepared to write to the Chief of Oldham Police and request for a report on their plan to improve services to victims of crime and clearing up crimes to be presented to this Council, sooner rather than later?

 

Councillor Al-Hamdani asked the following question in relation to Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel 31st January 2022, Minutes PFCP/14/22 p 243

GMP Updates on Areas of Focus

In referring to the update on the progress made with the continuing development of GMP’s integrated operational policing system (i-OPS) technology, he queried why no decision had been taken regarding the implementation of the project.

 

Councillor Al-Hamdani asked the following question in relation to Greater Manchester Combined Authority meeting, 17th December 2021, Minute GMCA/239/21 p 169

GMCA Delivering Net Zero Carbon Social Rented Homes

Councillor Al-Hamdani queried the accuracy of the report that was submitted to the GMCA meeting, on 17th December 2021, regarding this matter, in that no affordable rented homes have been built in the Oldham Borough since 2015. Homes England have not been able to release the land on which new properties can be built.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.    The minutes of the Joint Authorities and Partnership meetings, has detailed in the report, be noted.

2.    The questions be noted and written responses thereon be provided.

13.

Notice of Administration Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Councillor Shah to MOVE and Councillor Roberts to SECOND:

Tackling the Tories cost of living crisis

Families across Oldham are facing the worse cost of living crisis in a generation, brought on by political decisions of this Conservative Government and the cumulative effects of 12 years of austerity, welfare cuts and a race to the bottom on wages through the “gig economy”.

Oldhamers are facing their highest tax burden on record, with National Insurance set to rise as well as indirect taxes. In addition fuel, food and energy costs have increased dramatically in the last few months. Aside from general inflation, profit-motivated fuel and petrochemical companies continue to make billions in profits, paid from the pockets of Oldhamers into the pockets of their shareholders. Petrol has reached a high of 151p per litre and diesel is at a record high of 155p per litre and may well be more when this motion is presented. While it is understood that global conflict raises the price of brent crude prices, government is just not doing enough to make fuel companies pass on price reductions at the pump.

Energy costs similarly, are rising by an average of 54% and the government’s price cap is set to rise to £1,970 per year on April 1st, with a further rise expected later in the year. Wholesale gas prices have rose to an all-time high in December 2021 and are set to exceed that level again later this year. This is not only a damning indictment of the governments underfunding and underinvestment in sustainable and reliable green energy, energy efficiency in Oldham’s homes and our national power infrastructure, but of energy suppliers too.

Despite taxes being at their highest in living memory, the government’s 12-year austerity agenda has stripped public services of any capacity to deal with an inflation crisis. Indeed, benefit cuts have been a choice made by this government and as more people turn to find support, they will sadly discover it already cut away. In-work benefits are needed by many because of the unregulated gig economy operating carte blanche in UK workplaces, workers have no security, and the government is doing nothing to address this, or indeed the horrific practice of “fire and re-hire”.

 

This Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to request that they:

·         Implement emergency measures to ease food, fuel and energy prices on Oldham residents.

·         Reverse cuts to welfare, specifically Universal Credit and restore the Triple-Lock Guarantee to the state pension to support our most vulnerable residents in this time of crisis in the cost of living.

·         Accept that families are facing a cost of living crisis and therefore reverse the decision to raise National Insurance, affecting not only workers but jobs and businesses.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Roberts SECONDED the following MOTION:

 

Tackling the Tories cost of living crisis

 

This Council notes:

Families across Oldham are facing the worse cost of living crisis in a generation, brought on by political decisions of this Conservative Government and the cumulative effects of 12 years of austerity, welfare cuts and a race to the bottom on wages through the “gig economy”.

Oldhamers are facing their highest tax burden on record, with National Insurance set to rise as well as indirect taxes. In addition, fuel, food and energy costs have increased dramatically in the last few months. Aside from general inflation, profit-motivated fuel and petrochemical companies continue to make billions in profits, paid from the pockets of Oldhamers into the pockets of their shareholders. Petrol has reached a high of 151p per litre and diesel is at a record high of 155p per litre and may well be more when this motion is presented. While it is understood that global conflict raises the price of brent crude prices, government is just not doing enough to make fuel companies pass on price reductions at the pump.

Energy costs, similarly, are rising by an average of 54% and the government’s price cap is set to rise to £1,970 per year on April 1st, with a further rise expected later in the year. Wholesale gas prices have rose to an all-time high in December 2021 and are set to exceed that level again later this year. This is not only a damning indictment of the governments underfunding and underinvestment in sustainable and reliable green energy, energy efficiency in Oldham’s homes and our national power infrastructure, but of energy suppliers too.

Despite taxes being at their highest in living memory, the government’s 12-year austerity agenda has stripped public services of any capacity to deal with an inflation crisis. Indeed, benefit cuts have been a choice made by this government and as more people turn to find support, they will sadly discover it already cut away. In-work benefits are needed by many because of the unregulated gig economy operating carte blanche in UK workplaces, workers have no security, and the government is doing nothing to address this, or indeed the horrific practice of “fire and re-hire”.

This Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to request that they:

1.    Implement emergency measures to ease food, fuel and energy prices on Oldham residents.

2.    Reverse cuts to welfare, specifically Universal Credit and restore the Triple-Lock Guarantee to the state pension to support our most vulnerable residents in this time of crisis in the cost of living.

3.    Accept that families are facing a cost-of-living crisis and therefore reverse the decision to raise National Insurance, affecting not only workers but jobs and businesses.

 

AMENDMENT

 

Councillor Murphy MOVED and Councillor H Gloster SECONDED the following AMENDMENTS:

 

a.    Change in the final paragraph in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Notice of Opposition Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

Councillor Lancaster to MOVE and Councillor Woodvine to SECOND:

Levelling Up Motion

On Wednesday 2nd February, the UK Government announced its flagship ‘Levelling Up’ White Paper -a document which sets out a plan to transform the United Kingdom by spreading opportunity and prosperity to all parts of it, including across our Borough of Oldham.

This Council notes that:

-          The UK Government has ably assisted our Borough throughout the pandemic, supporting the employment of almost 40,000 residents through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the provision of several grant schemes available to thousands of local businesses, and in awarding funding to Oldham Coliseum through the Culture Recovery Fund.

-          Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the UK Government has already made significant financial contribution and progress in encouraging growth across our Borough, including with a £6.5m award from the Brownfield Housing Fund, a £10.75m award from the Future High Streets Fund, a £24.4 million award from the Towns Fund, a £9.7m award for the Oldham Opportunity Area, a £22m uplift in school spending; and a new £4.5m diagnostics centre in Royton, set to be benefit up to 30,000 people across the Borough, and a £28m extension to the Oldham Royal Hospital via the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group.

-          In designating Oldham as an Education Investment Area to drive school improvement, intervention in underperforming schools, growth of strong trusts and the retention of high-quality teachers, the UK Government has clearly recognised our Borough as being central to its national ‘Levelling Up’ agenda going forward.

-          The twelve missions contained within the ‘Levelling Up’ White Paper, including productivity, public investment, pride in place, public transport, paths to home ownership, amongst others, represent the right priorities for this national agenda.

This Council resolves to:

-          Proactively work with the UK Government in seeking further national investment, including making an application for our Borough to host the new home of the Great British Railways (GBR) Headquarters.

-          Align with the UK Government’s ambition for Local Government Pension Funds to increase asset investment in projects which support local areas, and work with Tameside MBC and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure this ambition is realised with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) in our Borough.

-          Proactively work with the UK Government, via the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), in the negotiation of a new devolution deal for the City Region.

-          Support the establishment of and practically cooperate with the UK Government’s intended new independent body to assess performance and strengthen transparency across the local government sector.

-          Ensure that its senior executive staff partake in the leadership capability training which will be made available through the new Leadership College for Government from April 2022.

-          -Utilise the spatial modelling techniques for planning which the UK Government is investing in through an Office for National Statistics (ONS)-led collaboration platform and which is to be made available throughout local government.

-          -Develop relations with the Department for  ...  view the full agenda text for item 14.

Minutes:

Motion 1

Councillor Arnott MOVED and Councillor Sharp SECONDED the following MOTION:

 

Motion 1 – Child Sexual Exploitation

 

The Council notes that.

After a number of significant delays, Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham made a firm commitment in December 2021, that the independent report by Malcolm Newsam CBE and Gary Ridgeway into the response to historic Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Oldham, would be published in week ending 28th January 2022. 

Just days before this latest deadline for publication, Mr Burnham released a further short statement, to the effect that the report would not be released in time to meet the deadline, with no further date for publication suggested.

This series of delays causes considerable emotional distress to the victims and their families and a lack of trust in the integrity of the report from the public in Oldham.

There is a growing feeling of unease amongst the residents of Oldham, and a suspicion that this latest delay of nearly eight weeks, is an indication that Mayor Andy Burnham is seeking to delay the publication of the report until after the local elections in May.     

This Council resolves that:

1.    This council has lost its confidence in the ability, or ambition of the Mayor of Greater Manchester to publish the results of the review into CSE in Oldham with the urgency and expediency that the victims, their families, and the residents of Oldham deserve.  

2.    The Chief Executive of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council write to the Home Secretary asking for urgent and immediate direct Government intervention and assistance in ensuring that the report is published as quickly as possible and without any further delay.

3.    The Home Secretary is further requested to establish whether previous delays could have been avoided, and to establish whether there had been any direct or indirect influence exerted to delay the publication of the report until after, or until a date very close to, the local government elections in May 2022.

 

Councillor Lancaster spoke in favour of the Motion

Councillor Al-Hamdani spoke on the Motion

Councillor Shah spoke on the Motion

Councillor Hobin spoke on the Motion

 

Councillor Arnott exercised his right of reply

 

A recorded vote was requested and taken on the MOTION as follows:

 

COUNCILLOR

 

COUNCILLOR

 

Abid Sahr

ABSENT

Ibrahim Nyla

APOLOGIES

Ahmad Riaz

AGAINST

Iqbal Javid

AGAINST

Akhtar Shoab

AGAINST

Islam Mohammed Nazrul

AGAINST

Alexander Ginny

AGAINST

Jabbar Abdul

AGAINST

Al-Hamdani Sam

FOR

Kenyon Mark

APOLOGIES

Ali Mohon

AGAINST

Lancaster Luke

FOR

Alyas Mohammed

AGAINST

Leach Valerie

APOLOGIES

Arnott Dave

FOR

Malik Abdul

AGAINST

Bashforth Marie

AGAINST

McLaren Colin

AGAINST

Bashforth Steve

AGAINST

Moores Eddie

AGAINST

Birch Ros

AGAINST

Murphy Dave

FOR

Briggs Norman

AGAINST

Mushtaq Shaid

AGAINST

Brownridge Barbara

AGAINST

Phythian Clint

AGAINST

Byrne Pam

FOR

Phythian Kyle

APOLOGIES

Chadderton Amanda

AGAINST

Roberts Hannah

AGAINST

Chauhan Zahid

AGAINST

Salamat Ali Aqeel

APOLOGIES

Cosgrove Angela

APOLOGIES

Shah Arooj

AGAINST

Curley Jamie

ABSENT

Sharp Beth

FOR

Davis Peter

AGAINST

Sheldon Graham

FOR

Dean Peter

APOLOGIES

Shuttleworth Graham

AGAINST

Garry Elaine

AGAINST

Stretton  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Appointment of Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED, Councillor C. Gloster SECONDED and Councillor Sheldon SUPPORTED a report of the Director of Workforce and Organisational Design, which asked Council to determine the recommendation of the authority’s Appointments Committee, which met on 10th January 2022, to appoint Mr. Harry Catherall as Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service on a three-year fixed term contract starting 1st April 2022.

 

RESOLVED - that Council confirm the recommendation of the Appointments Committee to appoint Harry Catherall as Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service (including as Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer) for a three year period from 1st April 2022.

16.

Oldham's COVID-19 Response - Update pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Chauhan MOVED and Councillor Shah SECONDED a report which provided an update on how the Council and its partners continue to monitor and manage the impact of COVID-19 in Oldham.

 

Council was informed that most remaining Covid restrictions were lifted on 24th February 2022. Although the sense of 'getting back to normal', was welcomed it was still evident that Coronavirus was and still circulating in the community and workplaces. Given Oldham’s experience of COVID-19 to date, the Council’s response was well established and wide in scope and as such was well placed to be able to adapt as needed.

 

As of 3rd March 2022, there had been 73,654 cases of COVID-19 identified in Oldham; the weekly infection rates were running at around 136 cases per 100,000 people. This was currently the lowest rate in England. However, changes in testing policy mean that recorded case rates were likely to be below the true level of infection. In understanding case rates it should be noted that testing rates in Oldham were lower than the national average.

 

In the seven days ending 3rd March White/White British was the ethnicity with the highest case rate. Over the same period Saddleworth South was the ward with the highest case rate (339.2 per 100,000 population) and Coldhurst had the lowest (44.8 per 100,000).

 

There had been 900 Covid-19 related deaths in Oldham (up to 3rd March 2022). The number of deaths from Covid-19 has slowed significantly since the start of the vaccination programme, with 1 Covid-19 death in the last seven days (up to 3rd March 2022).

 

Increasing vaccination uptake remained the primary focus of the local response. Over 168,000 Oldham residents had received their first doses (77.2% of Oldham’s eligible population) and over 156,000 have received second doses (71.7% of Oldham’s eligible population), with an additional 110,370 booster shots or third doses delivered (54.4% of Oldham’s eligible population). As the vaccination programme evolved in Oldham the number and range of settings where vaccination clinics are provided has widened substantially, informed by feedback from residents. Vaccinations have been delivered in GP surgeries, pharmacies, the hospital, and community venues. In addition, vaccinations for 12–17-year-olds have been offered in education settings.

 

Councillors asked the following questions:

 

Councillor Al-Hamdani asked:

There has been a backlog on isolation payments in Oldham. Applicants were being told that they would receive payments within 21 days, but many were having to wait much longer.  What percentage of payments were not made within 21 days? What is the longest any one person for whatever reason has had to wait? What is the current number of applicants still waiting for payment?

 

Councillor Chauhan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care responded that Test and Trace Support Payments were designed to support residents on a low income who would lose earnings because of self- isolating. There was a huge increase in applications because of the rise of the Omicron variant in recent months which affected the administration of Test and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Update on Actions from Council pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED a report of the Director of Legal Services, which informed members of actions taken following the meeting of the Council on 15th December 2021.

 

RESOLVED - that the actions regarding motions and issues from the meeting of the Council on 15th December 2021 be noted.

18.

Annual Reports pdf icon PDF 21 KB

Appenidx to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Sykes SCONDED a report which presented the Member Annual Reports for 2021.

 

As part of the ongoing work to strengthen accountability to local people and their role as a Councillor in a co-operative borough, Elected Members were asked to produce an annual report that presented information regarding their work in the community over the last 12 months. Individual reports included ward priorities, work in the community, their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and contact information.

 

Members were informed that their Reports were available to view under the Councillors’ section on Oldham Council’s website.

 

RESOLVED - that the Member Annual Reports be noted.

19.

Adoption of the Public Health Act 1925 Concerning Naming of Streets pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED a report of the Director of Environmental Services that sought the adoption by the Council of sections 17 and 19 of the Public Health Act 1925 relating to the naming of streets within the Borough.

 

Council was reminded that a report concerning the adoption of sections 17 and 19 of the Public Health Act 1925 was considered at the previous meeting on 15th December 2021.

 

To adopt sections 17 and 19, the Council would be required to publish a notice for 2 consecutive weeks in a local newspaper, circulating in their area, of the intention to pass a resolution applying the provisions of sections 17 and 19.  The date the resolution is to take effect is not earlier than one month from the date of the resolution.

 

Notice of the intention to pass a resolution applying the provisions of sections 17 and 19 of the Public Health Act 1925 with effect from 1st May 2022 was published in the Manchester Evening News on 7th March and was also published in the Manchester Evening News on 14th March 2022.

 

RESOLVED – that the Council adopts sections 17 and 19 of the Public Health Act 1925 relating to the naming of streets within the Borough, with effect from 1st May 2022, to ensure that the Council has the legal power to operate a street naming policy.