Agenda

Council
Wednesday, 2nd November, 2022 5.30 pm

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

Contact: Liz Drogan 

Items
No. Item

1.

To receive apologies for absence

2.

Item of Condolence - The late, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

3.

To order that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 7th September 2022 be signed as a correct record pdf icon PDF 600 KB

4.

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

5.

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

6.

To receive communications relating to the business of the Council

7.

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

(time limit 20 minutes)

8.

Leader's Annual Statement

9.

Youth Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

 

Holiday Activities and Food sessions provide the 13,000 young people in Oldham who access free school meals a warm meal and fun activities during the school holidays.  However, the cost of living crisis is a national problem for all households in the UK.  Obviously, this crisis is impacting those who can claim free school meals but many others earning less than the National median of £31,000 will begin to struggle with the rise in cost of energy, fuel, and food.  Indeed, research carried out by Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty coalition, showed 39.3% of children in Oldham were living below the poverty line in 2020/21. This figure would show that many more than those identified as eligible for free school meals require help during holiday times. 

Celebrities such as Marcus Ratchford and Jamie Oliver are also supporting campaigns that would like to see an increase in the numbers of young people eligible for free school meals by a further 800,000.  This increase is to support all young people living in households that claim universal credit not just those who household income is less than £7,400.

A major barrier to accessing the HAF sessions is the stigma.  If sessions are only accessed by those on free school meals, it identifies those young people as some of the poorest families in the town.

Holiday sessions also help with young people’s mental health.  Worries about jobs, the cost of living crisis and COVID recovery, more than ever all young people need support with their mental health.  The HAF sessions tick all boxes for the 5 ways to wellbeing; sessions allow young people to connect with others, allow them to be physically active, allow then to learn new skills, to participate in social and community life and to help to them take notice, savouring ‘the moment’.  In allowing all young people to access the HAF sessions we feel the value for money not only comes in feeding those who need it but also tackles mental health issues as well as providing young people with access to informal learning opportunities that help them develop skills for life.

In summary, while we applaud the HAF programmes aims and its ambition to support children and young people who need it most, we feel that given the current crisis around cost of living the programme doesn’t go far enough. Opening the Holiday Activities and Food programme to all young people will reach more vulnerable families, people who need support but perhaps not quite eligible. It will be an effective and quick way for the government to support more families with the cost-of-living crisis.

We propose that Oldham Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP; The Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, Secretary of State for Education; The Rt Hon Bridget Philipson MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, and to our Oldham Members of Parliament; the Rt Hon Jim McMahon MP,  ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

10.

Questions Time

10a

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 401 KB

(time limit 30 Minutes)

10b

Questions to Leader and Cabinet

(time limit 30 minutes)

10c

Questions on Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 243 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

22nd August 2022

21st September 2022

Additional documents:

11.

Notice of Administration Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

Councillor K Phythian to MOVE and Councillor Chadderton to SECOND:

Housing policy

This Council notes the complete confusion that now surrounds housing and planning policy following the collapse of the mini-budget, sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor and resignation of Prime Minister Liz Truss and subsequent Leadership election.

The status of proposals in the Levelling Up White Paper is in question and rumours about ‘supply side reforms’ abound.

This Council further notes the impact of Conservative Government policies on Oldham including:

  1. The rise in households in housing need in Oldham - up a quarter in the past year – there are now over 7,000 households on the Housing Register waiting for a social home
  2. Government refusal to fund general needs social homes in Oldham
  3. Affordability issues in private developments meaning the target of 10% affordable homes on developments over 10 homes are often not met
  4. Policy uncertainty leading to reluctance of developers to commit to new schemes
  5. A hike in mortgage interest payments threatening many residents’ ability to pay and keep their home, making it harder for first time buyers and raising private tenants’ rents
  6. Continued insecurity for private renters as no date is set for the abolition of Section 21 evictions despite a 2019 manifesto commitment

This Council believes that the best solution to Oldham’s Housing crisis is a Labour Government committed to: a reformed Private Rented Sector that works for renters and good landlords; helping Councils build good quality social homes at rents people can afford to pay; and help for first time buyers and home owners including abolishing leasehold as a tenure.

This Council resolves to write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to ask for urgent clarification of the Government’s Housing and Planning policies and seeking assurance that

  1. Section 21 evictions will be abolished in this session of Parliament
  2. Any reforms of the Planning system will ensure local democratic control of the planning process and fund Councils to provide an efficient and effective service
  3. Homes England will be directed to support all Councils to build homes for social rent
  4. Requirements on developers to provide Affordable Homes will not be further watered down
  5. Action will be taken to end land banking by developers
  6. Help will be put in place to support mortgage payers who are threatened with losing their home because of Tory mismanagement of the economy

 

Motion 2

Councillor Jabbar to MOVE and Councillor Brownridge to SECOND

Cost-of-living; Pension Credits

Older people in Oldham face a harsh winter this year, with the cost-of-living crisis affecting older people disproportionately. The government’s support schemes haven’t gone far enough to support vulnerable older people, and the new chancellor’s announcements have done little to give people confidence or stability in the coming months.

Over three million households in the UK are eligible to claim pension credits, however over 800,000 of these households don’t claim it. In Greater Manchester this means that £70m in benefits went unclaimed last  ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

12.

Notice of Opposition Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

Councillor Al-Hamdani to MOVE and Councillor Kenyon to SECOND:

No Confidence in Andy Burnham’s management of Greater Manchester Police

This Council notes that:

  1. There have been no crime figures published for Oldham from July 2019 onwards. Residents are unable to download and compare crime, stop, and search, and outcome statistics in their local areas unlike, for example, in London.
  2. Newsam & Ridgway’s review into CSE in Oldham, commissioned by Andy Burnham, notes the following (p40/2.17): the review started in January 2020 yet it took until November 2021 to agree a data processing agreement with GMP (for comparison, a complete data processing agreement with Oldham Council was agreed in April 2020). This data processing agreement with GMP only covered two of the 11 cases investigated – Shabir Ahmed and ‘Sophie’. Newsam and Ridgway further note that the lack of an agreement affected the quality of assurance that they could give about the quality of the conduct of GMP.
  3. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMICFRS) reported that GMP was failing victims of domestic abuse in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021. GMP was placed into special measures in December 2020
  4. From 2016, all chief officers at GMP have been replaced. The only two senior posts that have remained unchanged throughout this entire period are the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice, and Fire – Andy Burnham and, his appointee, Baroness Beverley Hughes.
  5. GMP’s failings reflect a national trend of defunding of Police by this Conservative government. Police are solving just 7% of recorded crimes.
  6. The highest ever number of rape cases in the UK was recorded in 2022 – 70,330, of which just 2,223 cases resulted in charges being brought. An estimated four out of five rape cases are not reported. Rape investigations currently take an average of 465 days from being reported to someone being charged.
  7. There is a backlog of nearly 59,000 cases at the crown court, and over 358,000 cases to the magistrate’s court. The backlog increased by 23% in the year prior to the COVID pandemic and has increased further since.

This Council believes that:

Victims of crime in the borough of Oldham, and across Greater Manchester, are being failed. Andy Burnham has failed and the Conservative government’s approach to policing and criminal justice has failed.

 

This Council resolves to:

Direct the Chief Executive to write to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester to inform them of Council’s lack of confidence in their ability to effectively manage GMP.

Motion 2

Councillor Quigg to MOVE and Councillor Arnott to SECOND:

Oldham Council like others who provide local services needs to strike the right balance when it comes to spending public money and how they deliver those local services.

Plans made today soon age and become historic in the changing world we live in and as quickly as circumstances around them change the need to change and adapt those plans grows stronger. Housing, transport, and local  ...  view the full agenda text for item 12.

13.

Update on Actions from Council pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:

14.

Appointment of Independent Chair of Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 46 KB