Agenda and minutes

Virtual, Council
Wednesday, 17th June, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting TEAMS https://www.oldham.gov.uk/livemeetings

Contact: Liz Drogan 

Items
No. Item

1.

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Consultation had been undertaken with Group Leaders to vary the order of the agenda due to the changes to the regulations. Councillor Fielding MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED an amendment to Council Procedure Rule 15.5 and proposed that timings would includes the extensions, therefore, any member wishing to speak would be granted 4 minutes 30 second and those Members with a right of reply 6 minutes and 30 second.  On being put to the vote, this was AGREED.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Williamson and Councillor A. Hussain.

2.

Attendance and Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Due to the current pandemic and the virtual meeting, a roll call of elected members present was taken and at the same time, in accordance with the Code of Conduct, elected members declared the following interests:

 

The Mayor informed the meeting that the Standards Committee had granted a dispensation to allow all members to vote on Item 19, Members Allowances Scheme, Report of the Director of Legal Services.  All members declared a pecuniary interest in this item, but the dispensation was applicable which allowed members to participate and vote on Item 19.

 

Councillor C. Gloster declared a pecuniary interest at Item 11d and personal interest at Item 12, by virtue of his employment by Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor H. Gloster declared a pecuniary interest at Item 11d and a personal interest in Item 12, by virtue of her husband’s employment by Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor Garry declared a pecuniary interest at Item 11d and Item 12, by virtue of her husband’s employment by Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor S. Bashforth declared a personal interest by virtue of his appointment to MioCare and a pecuniary interest at Item 11d by virtue of his appointment as a Director of MioCare.

Councillor Chauhan declared a personal interest at Item 11d by virtue of his appointment to MioCare.

Councillor Hamblett declared a personal interest at Item 11d by virtue of his appointment to MioCare.

Councillor Al-Hamdani declared a personal interest at Item 15.

 

3.

The Mayoralty and Meetings of the Council 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report to the Head of Democratic Services which advised of the implications of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 for the Mayoralty and for meetings between May 2020 and May 2021.

 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Act 2020 (the “Act”) came into force on 25th March 2020.  Amongst other matters, the Act provided that the ordinary election of Councillors in England that would otherwise be held on the ordinary day of election in 2020 wold be held instead on 7th May 2021, the ordinary day of election in 2021, and that any Councillor who would otherwise had retired on the fourth day after the ordinary day of election in 2020 would have their term of office extended accordingly.

 

Subsequently, the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (the “2020 Regulations”) came into force on 4th April 2020.  Included in the provisions therein, local authorities were permitted to hold such meetings as they may determine and, should a Council not hold an annual meeting, such appointments that would otherwise had been made at the annual meeting would continue until the next annual meeting or until such time as the Council determined.

 

Members were reminded that the Annual Meeting of Council scheduled for 20th May 2020 had not been convened.  In accordance with S4 of the 2020 Regulations, the terms of office of Councillor Ginny Alexander as Mayor and of Councillor Jenny Harrison as Deputy Mayor would therefore continue to the Annual Meeting of the Council to be held in May 2021 or such other time as the Council might determine.

 

Similarly, current Council committee memberships would continue to the Annual Meeting of the Council to be held in May 2021 or such other time as the Council might determine, subject to the political balance considerations required by the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990.  A report which gave consideration to political balance and the opportunity to vary some appointments was elsewhere on the agenda for this meeting of the Council.

 

RESOLVED that the implications of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 for the Mayoralty and for meetings of the Council between May 2020 and May 2021 be noted.

4.

To order that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 8th January 2020 and 26th February 2020 be signed as a correct record pdf icon PDF 384 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Council meetings held on 8th January 2020 and 26th February 2020 be agreed as a correct record.

5.

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

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

6.

To receive communications relating to the business of the Council

Minutes:

The Mayor and all Elected Members of the Council offered their condolences to all families who lost loved ones during the pandemic, both Covid related and non-Covid.

 

Council held a minute’s silence.

 

The Mayor made reference to the recent deaths of former members of the Council, Fred Yates and Angie Farrell.

 

Councillor Sykes paid tribute to the work of Fred Yates and Angie Farrell.

Councillor Brownridge paid tribute to the work of Fred Yates.

Councillor S. Bashforth paid tribute to the work of Angie Farrell.

 

Council held a minute’s silence.

 

7.

To receive and note petitions received relating to the business of the Council pdf icon PDF 120 KB

(time limit 20 minutes)

Minutes:

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

 

People and Place

 

Reference 2020-02: Petition regarding Proposed Time Restricted Parking on Beal Lane, Shaw (Shaw) received on 9th January 2020 with 113 signatures.

 

Reference 2020-04: Petition requesting the Re-opening of Bolton Street, Oldham OL4 1BW (St. Mary’s) received on 28th February 2020 with 251 signatures.

 

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

 

8.

Allocation of Portfolios to Cabinet Members 2020/21 and Determination of the Delegation of Executive Functions pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the appointment of Deputy Leaders, Cabinet Members, Deputy Cabinet Members, the allocation of portfolios to Cabinet Members and the determination of delegations to Executive Functions for 2020/2021 be noted as outlined below.

 

Councillor Sean Fielding                            Leader of the Council

                                                                        Cabinet Member for Economy and

Skills

 

Councillor Eddie Moores                            Cabinet Member for Children and

                                                                        Young People

 

Councillor Shaid Mushtaq                          Cabinet Member for Education

 

Councillor Zahid Chauhan                         Cabinet Member for Health and

Social Care

 

Councillor Arooj Shah                                 Statutory Deputy Leader

                                                                        Cabinet Member for COVID-19

Response

 

Councillor Barbara Brownridge                 Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods

                                                                        And Culture

 

Councillor Hannah Roberts                        Cabinet Member for Housing

 

Councillor Abdul Jabbar MBE                    Deputy Leader

                                                                        Cabinet Member for Finance and

Green

 

Councillor Amanda Chadderton               Cabinet Member for HR and

Corporate Reform

 

Councillor Mohon Ali                                   Deputy Cabinet Member for

                                                                        Economy and Skills

 

Councillor Valerie Leach                            Deputy Cabinet Member for

                                                                        Children and Young People

 

Councillor Chris Goodwin                          Deputy Cabinet Member for

                                                                        Education

 

Councillor Marie Bashforth                        Deputy Cabinet Member for

                                                                        Health and Social Care

 

Councillor Cath Ball                                    Deputy Cabinet Member for

                                                                        COVID-19 Response

 

Councillor Ateeque Ur-Rehman                Deputy Cabinet Member for

                                                                        Neighbourhoods and Culture

Councillor George Hulme                           Deputy Cabinet Member for

                                                                        Finance and Green

 

Councillor Steve Williams                           Deputy Cabinet Member for

                                                                        HR and Corporate Reform

 

9.

Opposition nominations to the Shadow Cabinet 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 8 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the appointment of the Opposition Leader and the Shadow Cabinet and asset set out below be noted:

 

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE      Economy and Skills (Opposition Leader)

                                                            HR & Corporate Reform

 

Councillor Garth Harkness             Education

 

Councillor Hazel Gloster                 Children and Young People

 

Councillor Louie Hamblett              Health and Social Care

 

Councillor Dave Murphy                 Neighbourhoods and Culture

 

Councillor Diane Williamson          COVID-19 Recovery

 

Councillor Chris Gloster                  Finance and Low Carbon (Opposition

Deputy Leader)

 

Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani          Housing and Homelessness

10.

Youth Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

 

There is no Youth Council business to consider.

Minutes:

There were no items submitted by the Youth Council.

11.

Questions Time

11a

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 116 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

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 Michael McLean via email:

 

            “How many miles of roads in Oldham have had the potholes fixed whilst the roads were quiet?”

 

            Councillor Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture responded that generally filling potholes was just an interim measure pending investment to the highway network to resurfacing using a number of appropriate surfacing techniques.  The Council was currently as the start of the second financial year of the implementation of a Council funded £12m Highways Investment Programme over three years which aims to completely resurface and overlay existing surfacing to economically and effectively improve the overall condition of the highway network.  In terms of improvements, the overall condition had been measured:

·         Green condition – or highways not in need to any works, had imporved by 23% of the entire network form 36% to 59% - this equated to approximately 180 km of the network having improved;

·         Amber condition – or highways not needing work for 3 to 5 years had reduced significantly down to 21% of the network overall.

Roads maintained in the green or amber categories would need little or no subsequent pothole repairs for many years, if maintained in those categories using the appropriate resurfacing techniques.

 

2.         Question received from Charles Garrity via email:

 

            “I refer to the announcement of the proposed full council meeting for 17th June 2020 that contains a PDF document, this document itemises unanswered questions from the public.  Mr. Karl Bardsley asked what was the total sum that was borrowed to finance the Town Hall cinema project.

The reply given by the leader of the council Sean Fielding, that there was no money borrowed for the Town Hall conversion project appears to be untrue. At that time I read a press release that the financing of that project was as follows £10m was taken from Council reserves, a further large proportion of the cost was provided from the regeneration capital fund. The regeneration capital fund was mainly funded by prudential borrowing, (it is well documented in council minutes that regeneration capital relies heavily on prudential borrowing). The press statement also said that a further sum of over £5m was borrowed and this would be repaid by income generated from the project.

I would ask Cllr Fielding for the sake of clarity to openly substantiate his answer by giving an itemised statement of how and where the money came from for the project.”

 

            Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills reiterated the response that had been provided to the previous question.  The Council did not undertake any borrowing to support the conversion of the Old  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11a

11b

Questions to Leader and Cabinet

(time limit 30 minutes)

Minutes:

The Leader of the Main Opposition, Councillor Sykes, raised the following two questions:

 

Question 1:    Indices of Deprivation in Oldham Borough

 

“It is with deep regret, that a reliable study has shown how Oldham Council is still not dealing with deprivation locally.  And this is before the Covid-19 world we now all live in.  This is one league table we don’t want to rise the ranks of.  The English Indices of Deprivation 2019 provides very detailed information on how well an authority is doing based on: income, employment, education, health, crime, housing and someone’s living environment.  In terms of a real change, Oldham Borough as slid backwards.  We are by no means improving.  Before you all shout ‘Coalition Cuts’, let me put this into perspective for all members present.  Oldham Borough has risen from the 27th most deprived local authority in England to the 16th most deprived.  Almost ten places worse.  This is in only four years from 2015 to 2019.  Additionally, Oldham Borough is in the top five places that have worsened over that four-year period.  Other areas include Walsall, Blackburn with Darwen, Halton and Burnley.  The Council which has skipped ten points in local depravation and has been run by the Labour group, uninterrupted for the best part of ten years now.  I wondered if the Leader has a more articulate excuse than simply ‘Austerity’ as to why the Labour are failing residents of Oldham Borough?”

 

Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills responded that it was disingenuous to direct the position at Oldham Labour and that much had contributed to the table.  The Leader added that there was much which contributed to the Authority’s position in the league tables.  Oldham had traditional relied heavily on public sector employment which had been decimated under the Coalition Government and continued under the Conservatives.  The authority had been hit by disproportionate level of government cuts against which impeded the ability for any work to conducted that would mediate any forms of deprivation and poverty and this was going to become more challenging post the Covid-19 crisis.  It was suggested that more austerity would follow to repay the money paid to businesses and those supported those who had not been able to work during the period.  The Leader added that more austerity would not help a place like Oldham improve its position in the league tables.  There were committed local leaders, including those in the Council Chamber, who wanted to do the right thing by residents in the borough and to help the communities where members lived and represented and for resources to be directed to those most in need, help them rise out of deprivation, poverty and provided with the tools needed to provide for themselves in terms of good jobs, local infrastructure and public services.  The Council had set out an ambitious plan under Creating a Better Place which would invest not just in physical infrastructure but also invested in people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11b

11c

Questions on Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 265 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

16th December 2019

27th January 2020

24th February 2020

23rd March 2020

 

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 16th December 2019, 27th January 2020, 24th February 2020 and 23rd March 2020 were submitted.

 

Members raised the following questions:

 

Question received from Councillor Harkness:

 

“We on the Liberal Democrat benches thoroughly support any move by this authority and its partners to make this Council and this borough carbon neutral as quickly and effectively as possible.  I have a two-part question.  The first relates to Solar Farms and the second to renewable energy generation on this Borough’s farms.

 

Please could we be updated on the progress of the recent application to build a solar farm at the Wrigley Head site and the proposal to investigate building a second solar farm at the Lower Slack Farm site?

 

Could we also be told how much generating capacity has been installed on our Borough’s farms?  We would like to know what is being done to encourage and to expedite further development?

 

I am thinking here of the creation of Solar Farms on farming land, of the installation of solar panels on the roofs of farm buildings, the use of methane and biological waste, and small-scale hydro schemes, as well as the more-usual farm wind turbines.”

 

Councillor Jabbar, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Green responded that the Council was keen to develop comprehensive green agenda to play it’s part in carbon reduction.  The Planning Application for the proposed solar farm at Wrigley Head had not yet been determined.  The potential for a second solar farm at Lower Slack Farm has been investigated and had unfortunately proved not to be feasible at that site due to numerous constraints which included adverse topography and lack of grid connection points.  Unfortunately, no specific data existed on renewable energy generating capacity installed on privately owned land.  The principal of working with private landowners on renewable energy development was being looked into.  A high-level study of the Northern Roots site had identified potential for a solar farm, however further work would need to be done regarding possible grid connection points before any approach could be made.  Councillor Jabbar would be delighted to speak to Councillor Harkness outside the meeting.

 

 

RESOLVED that:

1.         The minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 16th December 2019, 27th January 2020, 24th February 2020 and 23rd March 2020 be noted.

2.         The question and response provided be noted.

 

 

 

11d

Questions on Joint Arrangements pdf icon PDF 244 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

Oldham Leadership Board

23 January 2020

Police and Crime Panel

14 November 2019

Commissioning Partnership Board

28 November 2019

30 January 2020

MioCare Board

23 October 2019

Peak Park District Authority

1 November 2019

6 December 2019

14 February 2020

GM Health and Care Board

25 October 2019

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

29 November 2019

7 January 2020

31 January 2020

Greater Manchester Transport Committee

8 November 2019

17 January 2020

21 February 2020

Greater Manchester Waste and Recycling Committee

14 November 2019

16 January 2020

                                               

Additional documents:

Minutes:

To note the minutes of the following Joint Authority and Partnership meetings and the relevant spokesperson to respond to questions from Members. 

 

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

 

Oldham Leadership Board

23 January 2020

Police and Crime Panel

14 November 2019

Commissioning Partnership Board

28 November 2019

30 January 2020

MioCare Board

23 October 2019

Peak Park District Authority

1 November 2019

6 December 2019

14 February 2020

GM Health and Care Board

25 October 2019

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

29 November 2019

7 January 2020

31 January 2020

Greater Manchester Transport Committee

8 November 2019

17 January 2020

21 February 2020

Greater Manchester Waste and Recycling Committee

14 November 2019

16 January 2020

 

RESOLVED that:  The minutes of the Joint Authorities and Partnership meetings as detailed in the report be noted.

 

12.

Notice of Administration Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Councillor Chadderton to MOVE and Councillor Ur-Rehman  to SECOND:

Black Lives Matter

This council notes with great sadness the murder of George Floyd in the United States, and the hurt and anger made more visible as a consequence. Racism and racial inequality remain shameful aspects of our lives in Oldham as elsewhere and must be confronted.

In recent weeks Greater Manchester has seen Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara tasered in front of his small child when stopped by police for a driving offence, and the collapse of a police misconduct trial after Greater Manchester Police declined to submit any evidence against the officer who shot Anthony Grainger through the chest as he sat in his car. A judge last year found GMP to be entirely to blame for Mr Grainger’s death.

This council notes that since 1991 there have been more than 1,500 deaths in police custody or following police contact in the UK, but no police officers have been found guilty of murder or manslaughter related to any of them. Meanwhile, as highlighted by the Lammy review, disproportionality in the criminal justice system remains significant. Looking at just one metric, black people were searched by GMP at nearly seven times the rate of white people using stop and search powers in 2018/19.

This council resolves to:

  • Produce a new Equalities Strategy, setting out how it will make the council a more equal organisation and make Oldham a fairer place in which to live, work and feel safe
  • Request that the Chief Executive writes to the Mayor of Greater Manchester, reaffirming our support for the creation of a GM Race Equality Panel and for the publication of a quarterly Race Equality Policing Report

 

Minutes:

Black Lives Matter

 

Councillor Chadderton MOVED and Councillor Ur-Rehman SECONDED the following MOTION:

 

“This council notes with great sadness the murder of George Floyd in the United States and the hurt and anger made more visible as a consequence.  Racism and racial inequality remain shameful aspects of our lives in Oldham as elsewhere and must be confronted.

In recent weeks Greater Manchester has seen Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara tasered in front of his small child when stopped by police for a driving offence, and the collapse of a police misconduct trial after Greater Manchester Police declined to submit any evidence against the officer who shot Anthony Grainger through the chest as he sat in his car.  A judge last year found GMP to be entirely to blame for Mr. Grainger’s death.

This council notes that since 1991 there have been more than 1,500 deaths in police custody or following police contact in the UK, but not police officers have been found guilty of murder or manslaughter related to any of them.  Meanwhile, as highlighted by the Lammy review, disproportionality in the criminal justice system remains significant.  Looking at just one metric, black people were searched by GMP at nearly seven times the rate of white people using stop and search powers in 2018/19.

This Council resolves to:

·         Produce a new Equalities Strategy, setting out how it will make the council a more equal organisation and make Oldham a fairer place in which to live, work and feel safe.

·         Request the Chief Executive writes to the Mayor of Greater Manchester, reaffirming our support for the creation of a GM Race Equality Panel and for the publication of a quarterly Race Equality Policing Report.

 

Councillor C. Gloster spoke on the motion and raised a point of order with regard to the wording in the report.

Councillor Mushtaq spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Taylor spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Shah spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Al-Hamdani spoke in support of the Motion

 

Councillor Chadderton exercised her right of reply.  In responding, Councillor Chadderton altered the wording of the motion.

 

Councillor C. Gloster made a personal statement.

 

The ALTERED MOTION:

 

“This council notes with great sadness the murder of George Floyd in the United States, and the hurt and anger made more visible as a consequence. Racism and racial inequality remain shameful aspects of our lives in Oldham as elsewhere and must be confronted.

 

In recent weeks Greater Manchester has seen Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara tasered in front of his small child when stopped by police for a driving offence, and the collapse of a police misconduct trial after Greater Manchester Police declined to submit any evidence against former Assistant Chief Constable Steven Heywood after Anthony Grainger was shot through the chest as he sat in a car. A judge last year found GMP to be entirely to blame for Mr Grainger’s death.

 

This council notes that since 1991 there have been more than 1,500 deaths in police custody or  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Notice of Opposition Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion1

Councillor Harkness to MOVE and Councillor Hamblett to SECOND:

 

Tax relief for Public Transport

This Council notes that:

·         In his article for the Daily Telegraph ‘Tax Relief just the Ticket’ (6 October 2013), then journalist Boris Johnson called for employees to be ‘allowed to pay for their season tickets from their pre-tax income.’

·         Mr Johnson advocated for the introduction of a new tax relief scheme, limited to the basic rate, whereby ‘the employer would buy the season ticket and deduct the cost from his or her (employee’s) pay packet – and only then would the employee be assessed for tax.’

·         The impact of such a scheme would mean that employees would have less taxable income reducing their liability for income tax and national insurance and the employer would also save on national insurance contributions.

·         The economy has been hit by the Coronavirus Pandemic.  This would be an easing measure for people returning to public transport.

·         An annual season ticket costs a Metrolink tram commuter from Shaw to Manchester £1,154, a Train commuter from Greenfield to Manchester is £1,208, and a Bus commuter with First Manchester is £670.

·         Such a tax-relief scheme would represent a significant financial saving for Oldham Borough’s commuters and be a real kickstart to the local economy.

·         Council further notes that now Mr Johnson is Prime Minister he has it within his power to put his aspirations for tax relief on seasonal travel tickets into practice.

 

Council resolves to:

·         Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister and Chancellor of The Exchequer to request that this Government introduce such a tax-relief scheme.

·         This would be on seasonal travel tickets (following the principles outlined in Mr Johnson’s Telegraph article in 2013) making this effective as soon as possible.

·         Write to the Mayor of Greater Manchester saying that we all should support such a scheme.

 

Motion 2

Councillor Williamson to MOVE and Councillor H Gloster to SECOND:

 

Accessible Shopping Districts

Council notes that:

  • Regulations are in place so that future improvements are Disability Discrimination Act compliant.
  • That there are low-cost improvements businesses can make.
  • Charities and Oldham Council can support and provide better guidance as to what those improvements might be.
  • There is proven success in directly investing in our town and district centres.
  • That all members need to be aware of dementia awareness training available.
  • Oldham Council knows simple steps that can be taken to improve the use of the shops for people with dementia in our communities.
  • The Coronavirus has pushed elderly people from our high streets.  This motion aids those made vulnerable by Covid-19 to make an easier return to shopping.
  • Improvements such as these would help and support the local economy.

Council resolves to:

  • Set aside funding for adaptation to offer improved access for those with mobility issues.  This could include, but not limited to: the provision of ramps, hand rails, additions to entrances, removal of steps. Any necessary alterations needed to make our district  ...  view the full agenda text for item 13.

Minutes:

Motion 1 - Tax relief for Tram Travel

 

Councillor Harkness MOVED and Councillor Hamblett SECONDED the following motion:

 

This Council notes that:

·         In his article for the Daily Telegraph ‘Tax Relief just the Ticket’ (6 October 2013), journalist Boris Johnson called for employees to be ‘allowed to pay for their season tickets from their pre-tax income.’

·         Mr Johnson advocated for the introduction of a new tax relief scheme, limited to the basic rate, whereby ‘the employer would buy the season ticket and deduct the cost from his or her (employee’s) pay packet – and only then would the employee be assessed for tax.’

·         The impact of such a scheme would mean that employees would have less taxable income reducing their liability for income tax and national insurance and the employer would also save on national insurance contributions.

·         An annual season ticket costs a Metrolink tram commuter from Shaw to Manchester £1,154, a Train commuter from Greenfield to Manchester £1,208, and a Bus commuter with First Manchester £670.

·         Such a tax-relief scheme would represent a significant financial saving for our Borough’s commuters.

·         Council further notes that now Mr Johnson is Prime Minister he has it within his power to put his aspirations for tax relief on seasonal travel tickets into practice.

 

Council resolves to:

·         Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister and Chancellor of The Exchequer to request that this Government introduces a tax relief scheme.

·         This would be on seasonal travel tickets (following the principles outlined in Mr Johnson’s Telegraph article in 2013) making this effective as soon as possible.

·         Write to the Mayor of Greater Manchester saying that we all should support such a scheme.”

 

Councillor Roberts MOVED and Councillor Fielding SECONDED that under Council Procedure Rule 8.4d) the motion be referred to Overview and Scrutiny Board.

 

Councillor Harkness did not exercise his right of reply.

 

On being put to the VOTE, that the MOTION be REFERRED to Overview and Scrutiny Board was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

RESOLVED under Council Procedure Rule 8.4d), the motion be referred to Overview and Scrutiny.

 

Motion 2 – Accessible Shopping Districts

 

The Chief Executive had been notified that Councillor Williamson was unable to attend the meeting and was unable to Move the Motion and notice had been given that Councillor Murphy would Move the Motion in her absence which was AGREED.

Councillor Murphy MOVED and Councillor H. Gloster SECONDED the following MOTION:

 

“Council notes that:

·         Regulations are in place so that future improvements are Disability Discrimination Act compliant.

·         That there are low-cost improvements businesses can make.

·         Charities and Oldham Council can support and provide better guidance as to what those improvements might be.

·         There is proven success in directly investing in our town and district centres.

·         That all members need to be aware of dementia awareness training available.

·         Oldham Council know simple steps that can be taken to improve the use of the shops for people with dementia in our communities.

·         The Coronavirus has pushed elderly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Oldham's COVID-19 Response pdf icon PDF 336 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Fielding SECONDED a report which outlined Oldham’s partnership response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

On 31st December 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province China.  On 12 January 2020, it was announced that a new novel coronavirus had been identified, causing the outbreak.  This virus is referred to as SARS-CoV-2 and the associated disease as COVID-19.  Since January, the virus has spread quickly across the globe, causing a global pandemic.

 

Manchester and Greater Manchester (GM) declared a major incident on Friday, 20 March 220.  This activated the multi-agency response arrangements in line with the GM generic response plan and the pandemic flu plan.  The Prime Minister’s unprecedented announcement at 8.30 p.m. on Monday, 23 March 2020 set out the seriousness of the situation and the expectations of all residents, businesses and public services.

 

New emergency legislation was passed into law which supported local authorities in responding to the pandemic, whilst ensuring essential business and services continued.  The legislation gave the Council a statutory duty to co-ordinate food, self-care, medical supplies and other forms of necessary assistance to vulnerable groups in response to COVID-19.

 

In line with other Greater Manchester authorities, Oldham established a major incident command structure which included a Gold, Silver and Bronze approach.  This included a Political Gold of Council Leader/Deputy Leaders and the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Main Opposition Group.

 

The report summarised the Oldham Partnership’s response to COVID-19, highlighting the contribution form the Council’s partners and communities in tackling the pandemic.  As the response covered almost all service areas, the report highlighted six thematic areas:

 

1.    Protecting our most vulnerable residents – including Community Bronze Group, emergency food distribution, volunteering, supporting wider need and the Helpline and Response System.

2.    Health and Wellbeing – including Oldham CCG and Critical Care Services, Public Health Campaign, Mental Health Services, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Test and Trace, Care Homes and Bereavement Support

3.    Keeping Services Going – including Community Safety and Cohesion, Domestic Abuse, Education, Libraries and Gallery Oldham, Parks and Greenspaces, Safeguarding, Waste and Recycling, Accommodation Review, Communications and Workforce.

4.    Helping people back on their feet – including financial support to residents, food donations and fundraising, Housing and homelessness, support for carers and Welfare Rights.

5.    Supporting businesses and Oldham’s economy – including small business grants and retail, leisure and hospitality grants and Business Rate relief.

6.    The transition from lockdown to recovery.

 

Question received from Councillor H. Gloster:

“How may Covid-19 Cases there have been by ward, and the death rate for each of those wards/”

 

Councillor Shah, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Covid-19 Response responded that the Council did not currently have the data on the number of COVID cases and deaths at ward level – this was a national policy.  At the Local Authority level, as of 16th June 2020, there were 1,139 cases confirmed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Update on Actions from Council pdf icon PDF 149 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 H. Gloster asked the following question:

 

“As per the Liberal Democrat motion on Dog Fouling in 2019, what is the progress with this Fixed Penalty Notice?  Are those involved going to do anything at all?  It’s been almost a year.”

 

Councillor Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture responded that work on progressing the motion via the Overview and Scrutiny Board had been delayed.  A councillor had been nominated form the Board to work with officers to progress the points raised and this work would now be prioritised.  As background to the work in this area, the Council had received 40 complaints of dog fouling since 1st April 2020 and issued 13 fixed penalty notices.  The fine level was not set at £100 per offence, reduced to £70 if paid within 10 days.

 

RESOLVEDthat:

1.         The actions taken regarding motions and actions from previous Council meetings be agreed and correspondence and updates received be noted.

2.         That the question and response provided be noted.

 

16.

Corporate Peer Challenge - Feedback Report pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Fielding MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED a report which highlighted the findings of the LGA Peer Challenge carried out in Oldham between 21 – 24 January 2020.

 

The Council had undertaken a voluntary Corporate Peer Challenge between 21 – 24 January 2020, which was facilitated by the Local Government Association and undertaken by Senior Elected Members and Chief Officers across Local Government. The Challenge Team spent four days in Oldham and during this time spoke with a large number of Councillors, staff, partners and community groups which focused on the areas above.

 

The feedback report was attached as an appendix and highlighted that the organisation had a clear vision and energy for the borough, our ambition and future direction of travel, our relentless focus to improving outcomes for our residents and the strong partnership ethos that is in place across the borough. The report praised our ‘bold, brave and honest’ approach to Public Service

reform, as well as highlighting that our ‘Team Oldham’ approach is not only real, but that everyone within Oldham had ‘commitment, passion and ambition for our organisation and place’ and that we prided ourselves on working closely with Communities as a ‘Council of Oldham, not in Oldham’.

 

The report identified that the scale of Oldham’s ambition was a strength, although this also presented a challenge. The challenge team recommended a number of key points to be considered which would be addressed in the Council’s resultant action plan.

 

Councillor Shah spoke on the report.

Councillor C. Gloster spoke on the report.

Councillor Fielding exercised his right of reply.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.    The contents of the report and the feedback report received, as attached as an appendix to the report, be noted;

2.    It be noted that a report would be presented to the Cabinet over the coming months, which would set out the Organisation’s action plan against each of the key recommendations as set out within this paper.

17.

Political Balance Review - Composition of Political Groups - Outstanding Committee Appointments and Outside Bodies Appointments pdf icon PDF 276 KB

To follow

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Fielding MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED a report of the Director of Legal Services which sought a review of the political composition of committees and the composition of political groups as previously notified under Regulations 8(1) of the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990 and under Section 15 and 16 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 due to the reduction in Council membership from 60 to 58.  The report sought agreement to the outstanding appointments of members to serve on the several Committee as detailed in the Constitution and listed at Appendix 1 to the report and the outstanding appointments to Outside Bodies as detailed at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.         The composition of the political groups as shown at paragraph 1.1 of the report be noted.

2          The several Committees detailed at paragraph 1.5 of the report be constituted with the Terms of Reference and delegated powers as detailed in the Constitutional Amendments Report.

3.         The number of seats on the various Committees for the 2020/21 Municipal Year as detailed at paragraph 1.6 of the report be approved.

4.         The allocation of seats to the political groups be confirmed and appointments made to fill the seats in accordance with Sections 15 and 16 of the Local Government and Housing Act 199 as detailed at Appendix 1 of the report.

5.         Any outstanding Chair and Vice-Chairs of each of the various Committees for the 2020/2021 Municipal Year be appointed as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report with the exception of the Selection and Appeals Committees and the District Lead for each of the District Areas be reaffirmed

6.         The outstanding appointments to Outside Bodies as detailed at Appendix 2 of the report be agreed.

7.         The Standards Committee remained outside of political balance as in previous years be confirmed to ensure appropriate representation.

8.         The Traffic Regulation Order Panel remains outside political balance be confirmed.

9.         Any outstanding appointments be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Leader of the Main Opposition Group.

18.

Constitutional Amendments pdf icon PDF 314 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 Constitution had been impacted upon by the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panel (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 which had introduced certain mandatory provisions for the period to 7th May 2021.  Whilst these mandatory provisions were time limited, it was considered good practice for them to be incorporated into the Council’s Constitution at this time to properly present the Council’s statutory and procedural requirements under the Regulations.

 

The Planning Scheme of Delegation should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it was up to date and reflected current practices and policies.  Planning Committee procedures had been under scrutiny recently due to a number of issues and it was timely to review practices and procedures.  The current system would benefit from updating, simplification and revision to delegated powers and protocols.

 

At the Cabinet meeting, held on 27th January 2020, a suite of reports and recommendations related to ‘Creating a Better Place’ as the comprehensive vision and strategic framework for the Borough were approved.  These included proposed amendments to the Executive arrangements, which included delegation arrangements, contained within the Land and Property Protocol which was included at Part 5(e) of the Council’s Constitution.  The approval of the Full Council was therefore required to agree the revision of the Council’s Constitution.

 

Amendment 1:

Councillor C. Gloster MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED the following AMENDMENT:

“Part 5(e) - Land and Property Protocol

2.         Corporate Property Board

Insert after the third bullet point:

·         “The Opposition Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services”

 

Councillor Fielding exercised his right of reply.

Councillor C. Gloster exercised his right of reply.

 

On being put to the vote, 9 VOTES were cast in FAVOUR of the AMENDMENT and 41 votes were cast AGAINST with1 abstention.  The AMENDMENT was therefore LOST.

 

Amendment 2:

Councillor Sykes MOVED and Councillor C. Gloster SECONDED the following AMENDMENT:

“Appendix A – Public Space Assessment Matrix

Table 1 Questions

Insert after 3 and renumber

4 – the land is formally laid out and maintained as a garden or landscaped area by Parish Councils or their agents.

5 – the land is formally laid out and maintained as a garden and landscaped area by Friends and Residents groups in line with the co-operative objectives of the Council.

6 – the land is formally laid out and maintained as a garden or landscaped area by any other organisation, charity, body or individual.

4 will then become 7,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Members Allowances Scheme pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Legal Services which set out the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel.  The Panel had given consideration to information from the Leader of the Council, the Deputy Leader of the Main Opposition Group, and representations from members on their roles and responsibilities, time required on casework and work required on undertaking committee work.

 

The Panel gave had also given consideration to Members Allowance Schemes across Greater Manchester as well as those of Kirklees and Calderdale Councils.

 

The Panel made the recommendation that the members allowances for 2020/21 remain the same as in 2019/20 but with increases linked to the officer pay increase which had not yet been agreed.  Appendix 1 to the report detailed the proposed scheme based on the Independent Remuneration Panel recommendation, but this did not include the proposed increase referred to in Section 1.4 in the report as this had not yet been agreed. It was also proposed that the exception to the one SRA rule could also apply to a discretionary SRA payment.

 

RESOLVED that;

1.         The recommendation of the Independent Remuneration Panel be noted.

2.         The Members Allowances Scheme for 2020/21 as detailed at Appendix 1 of the report be approved.

3.         The exception to the one SRA rule to be applied to a discretionary SRA payment be approved.

20.

Appointment of Independent Person - Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Legal Services regarding the appointment of an independent person to be made to the Standards Committee and not to the Independent Remuneration Panel as referenced in the report.

 

Following the advertisement of the position, an interview had been conducted and it was recommended that Karen Williams be appointed as an Independent Person for the Standards Committee, to serve for a four-year term.

 

RESOLVED that Karen Williams be appointed as an Independent Person to the Standards Committee for a four-year term.

 

21.

Council Meetings and Municipal Calendar 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

a) To confirm the meetings of Full Council will be held on the undermentioned

dates during the 2020/21 Municipal Year, Commencing at 6.00pm unless

otherwise shown:

15 July 2020

9 September 2020

4 November 2020

16 December 2020

24 February 2021 (Budget)

24 March 2021

19 May 2021 (Annual at 12.00 noon)

b) To approve the calendar of meetings for the 2020/21 Municipal Year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Legal Services which set out the meeting Calendar of Meetings for the 2020/2021 Municipal Year.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.         The meetings of the Council to be held on the following dates in the 2020/2021 Municipal Year, commencing at 6.00 p.m. unless otherwise shown be approved:

           

15 July 2020

9 September 2020

4 November 2020

16 December 2020

24 February 2021 (Budget)

24 March 2021

19 May 2021 (Annual at 12.00 noon)

 

2.         The Council’s Calendar of Meetings for the Municipal Year 2020/21 be approved.

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