Agenda and minutes

Virtual, Council
Wednesday, 9th September, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: TEAMS Meeting https://www.oldham.gov.uk/live

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 15.5 and proposed that timings would include the extensions, therefore, any Members wishing to speak would be granted 4 minutes and 30 seconds and those Members with a right of reply 6 minutes and 30 seconds.  On being put to the vote, this was AGREED.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Leach.

2.

Attendance and declarations of Interest

Minutes:

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

 

Councillor Chauhan declared a personal interest at Item 9d by virtue of his appointment to the MioCare Board.

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

Councillor Chris Gloster declared a personal interest at Item 9d by virtue of his receipt of an occupational pension from Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor Hazel Gloster declared a personal interest at Item 9d by virtue of her husband’s receipt of an occupational pension from Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

Councillor Hamblett declared a personal interest at Item 9d by virtue of his appointment to the MioCare Board.

3.

To order that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 15th July 2020 be signed as a correct record pdf icon PDF 576 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 15th July 2020 be approved as a correct record.

4.

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

Minutes:

Councillor Hobin asked to make a statement.  The Mayor responded that she had not been notified in advance of this meeting of any items of urgent business.  Councillor Hobin was advised that if he wanted to raise a question, he could do so at the relevant Joint Authority minute.

 

5.

To receive communications relating to the business of the Council

Minutes:

There were no communications items.

 

6.

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

(time limit 20 minutes)

Minutes:

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

 

People and Place

 

Reference 2020-06: Petition regarding a Dangerous Dog (Failsworth East Ward) received on 9 July 2020 with 56 signatures

 

Commissioning

 

Reference 2020-05: E-Petition to Provide a Non-Refundable six Month Council Tax Discount for Every Household in Oldham received on 30 July 2020 with 282 signatures

 

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

7.

Electronic Voting at Council pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Legal Services regarding Electronic Voting at Council.

 

Meetings of the Council and Committees had been able to be held by remote attendance by reason 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 purposes of efficiency it was recommended that Rule 16A of the Council Procedure Rules was amended to permit the use of electronic voting at meetings.

 

RESOLVED that Council Procedure Rule 16A be amended to permit the use of electronic voting.

8.

Youth Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

There is no Youth Council business to consider.

Minutes:

There were no items submitted by the Youth Council.

9.

Questions Time

9a

Public Questions

(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 the questions would be read out by the Mayor.

 

The following questions were submitted:

 

1.         Question received from Syed Maruf Ali via Twitter:

 

           Can you please raise this question at the next full council meeting. What percentage of pupils from OL8 1 post code area have received their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice secondary school places? How many pupils from OL8 1 post code have been allocated a School places at: Hathershaw School OASIS Academy OASIS Leesbrook Oldham Academy North Royton and Crompton Newman RC College Using the proposed admission criteria of Blue Coat School 2, what percentage and number of pupils from OL8 1 Postcode area will be offer a place? Education is passport out of poverty and every young people should have access to good/outstanding attainment School and should not be discriminated using unfair admission criteria such as using religion or distance.”

 

            Councillor Mushtaq, Cabinet Member for Education responded that the from the OL8 1 post code secondary schools places were offered as follow: 57% of pupils had been offered their first preference, 15% offered second preference and 10% offered third preference.  All data was from on time applications.  The number of places allocated to pupils from the OL8 1 postal code for Hathershaw College was 82, Oasis Academy Oldham was 60, Oasis Academy Leesbrook was 20, Oldham Academy North was 29; EAC-T Royton and Crompton Academy was 6; and Newman RC College was 5. Due to the nature of the proposed admissions policy for ‘Blue Coat 2’, the number of pupils to be allocated with certain areas or postcodes could not be predicted.  The current proposed admissions policy makes use of mile bands.  Cases based on distance could be predicted but not areas or postcodes.  There would be use of random allocation within the policy, but no postcode within those bands would be disadvantaged over another.  Also, it could not be predicted what the levels of demand for a new school from any particular post code or area.

 

2.         Question received from Robert Barnes via email:

 

“Transparency, Openness and Accountability should be the watchwords of local government. With that in mind, could the Council Leader please explain why public questions now have a time limit of 15 minutes?  Could he also answer why he thinks it acceptable to change the constitution to ban criticism of elected members who are public servants and accountable to the electorate?”

 

            Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills responded that prior to the changes at the beginning of the 2019 Municipal Year, the Council meeting previously had items whose time limits added up to more than the three-and-a-half hours permitted by the guillotine.  The agenda was changed so that items could be debated without timing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9a

9b

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:  Local is the New Normal

 

“My first question concerns the future of our district centres in the post-Covid world.  This Administration has expended countless officer hours, commissioned many specialist reports, and expended many millions of pounds on its regeneration plans for Oldham town centre over the years.  Whilst some welcome progress has been made, much of the effort and expenditure has frankly come to nothing.  Now Covid-19 has slain the latest plans.  The prospects for the ‘Creating a Better Place’ master plan, first adopted by this Administration in July 2019 and involving an investment of £306 million, has just been reviewed by Cabinet and a third or £100 million axed off that budget.  Covid has massively increased our costs, decimated our revenue, and now as a Council we quite simply do not now have the cash.  The original plan envisaged a mixture of housing, retail, leisure and office developments.  We need many thousands of new homes and I would rather they be built in Oldham Town Centre and on brownfield sites than developed at the expense of our Green Belt and green spaces.  Now we will be restructuring existing retail, leisure and office spaces, rather than bringing new space into use.  If you walk through the Town Square and Spindles Shopping Centres you can see the empty spaces.  For over a decade now, footfall along Britain’s high streets has been declining.  Covid-19 has simply accelerated the trend.  Office workers are not coming back to our Town Centre, including the Council’s.  Home-working is here to stay, and for many of us it will continue to be the only way to work or the only way we can work.  For all the talk of investing in Oldham Town Centre to ‘Create a Better Place’, there has been no talk about, and no focus on, the other district centres in our Borough, except for Royton – which is still talk only.  The Administration may have adopted a new mantra ‘We are Oldham’ but Oldham is not just the Town Centre, it is a Borough of Town and District Centres, each with a proud history and its own distinctive character.  For local is the new normal.  The Council’s ambition of ‘Creating a Better Place’, there has been no mention of investing in these localities to make the local better.  So, I would like to ask the Leader tonight whether he and his Cabinet colleagues will consider reallocating some of the investment intended for Oldham Town Centre to create ‘Better Places’ to live for those of us who live, shop, socialise or work in Lees, Royton, Chadderton, Failsworth, Shaw and the Saddleworth villages?”

 

Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills responded that it was unfair to say that the investment and regeneration strategy in and around Oldham Town Centre had come for nothing as that had overlooked the significant investment that had taken  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9b

9c

Questions on Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 236 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

22nd June 2020

7th July 2020

20th July 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 22nd June 2020, 7th July 2020 and 20th July 2020 were submitted.

 

Members raised the following questions:

 

Councillor Murphy asked the following question related to Cabinet, 20th July 2020, Item 6 – GM Clean Air Update:

 

“Private motor vehicles are subject to an annual emissions test when they have an MOT test, which is carried out by inserting a tube into the exhaust and measuring it using a calibrated emissions tester.  However, when taxis are checked through the taxi test, the emissions are only visually checked.  Can the relevant Cabinet Member explain why there is this discrepancy between the emissions testing of private cars and taxis?  There are hundreds of taxis on our roads today.  They are driven more miles per year than an average motor vehicle, they are on the road for longer and their engines are idled for longer periods of time so a taxi could cause a lot more air pollution.  When we are trying to make sure we have clean air, why should taxis not have the same checks as our cars?  And can the Cabinet Member say exactly how many taxis are licensed to operate in our borough today?”

 

Councillor Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture responded that she could not explain the difference in emission checks but that the work on clear air was about doing away with current commercial vehicles, taxis, private hires, delivery vehicles, lorries and buses and the reduction of pollution by making all the vehicles in Greater Manchester that drove around Greater Manchester, particularly the ones that spent a lot of time idling, not giving out the NO2 particles.  The Clean Air Strategy that Greater Manchester was developing was what the Cabinet Minute was about and the consultation exercise that was due to start on 8 October and addressed modification of vehicles going forward which involved support to those people who had those vehicles getting cleaner vehicles.  In terms of the number of taxis and private hires operating in Oldham, Councillor Brownridge did not know but would find out and provide that information to Councillor Murphy.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.         The minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 22nd June 2020, 7th July 2020 and 20th July 2020 be noted.

2.         The question and response provided be noted.

 

9d

Questions on Joint Arrangements pdf icon PDF 421 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

AGMA Executive Board                                          26 June 2020

 

Greater Manchester Transport Committee          10 July 2020

 

GM Waste and Recycling Committee                  12 March 2020

 

Health and Wellbeing Board                                  12 November 2019

 

Greater Manchester Combined Authority            26 June 2020

                                                                                    31 July 2020

 

MioCare Board                                                         23 April 2020

 

Peak Park District Authority                                   3 July 2020

                                                                                    24 July 2020

 

Police and Crime Panel                                          30 June 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 Partnership meetings were submitted as follows:

 

AGMA Executive Board                                                      26 June 2020

Greater Manchester Transport Committee                      10 July 2020

GM Waste and Recycling Committee                              12 March 2020

Health and Wellbeing Board                                              12 November 2019

Greater Manchester Combined Authority                        26 June 2020

                                                                                                31 July 2020

MioCare Board                                                                     23 April 2020

Peak Park District Authority                                               3 July 2020

                                                                                                24 July 2020

Police and Crime Panel                                                      30 June 2020

 

Members asked the following questions:

 

1.         Councillor Williamson asked the following question on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority minutes, 31 July 2020, Item GMCA 122/20 – Brownfield Land Fund and Getting Building Fund:

            “The minute records that of the Government’s £400m Brownfield Land Fund, £81.1m has been allocated for Greater Manchester over the next five years, and that Greater Manchester has also been allocated £54m as part of the ‘Getting Building Fund’ to support post Covid-19 building recovery, to be spent by 31 March 2022.  Can the relevant Cabinet Member tell me how much of this money will be coming to Oldham and how this Council intends to spend it?”

 

            Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills responded that none of the funding pot had yet been allocated so it was unclear at the moment how much would be allocated to Oldham.  The funding was to be used to bring forward sites for residential development on brownfield land that could evidence market failure.  GMCA were co-ordinating bids to the fund and submissions had been put forward in Oldham which sought a total of £17.942 million grant.  Future updates could be provided.

 

2.         Councillor Al-Hamdani asked the following question on the Greater Manchester Transport Committee minutes, 10 July 2020, Minute GMTC 50/20 Mayoral Update and on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority minutes, 31 July 2020, Minute GMCA 125/20, the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund (MCF) and Emergency Active Travel Funding, Tranche 1 –

            “As people are being urged to return to school and to work, the Government allocation £250-million for an ‘Emergency Active Travel Fund’ to encourage everyone to walk or cycle where possible instead of taking public transport or returning to their cars.  Greater Manchester received £15,872,000.  The Transport Secretary also issued new Statutory Guidance on 9 May to all Highways Authorities, requiring them to deliver ‘transformative change’ within an urgent timeframe.  The Guidance included recommendations to consider ‘pop-up’ cycle facilities, widening footways, ‘school streets’ schemes, and reducing speed limits.  Can the relevant Cabinet Member tell me how much money from the Greater Manchester ‘pot’ Oldham has received and what this Council has or proposes to do with it to meet the requirements and aspirations of the Statutory Guidance?  And can the Cabinet Member also currently tell me what mechanism exists to consult with cyclists in this borough on our proposed cycle schemes?”

 

            Councillor Brownridge, Cabinet Member  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9d

10.

Notice of Administration Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Councillor Roberts to MOVE and Councillor Dean to SECOND:

 

Planning for the Future motion

This council notes the Government’s extension of permitted development rights and the recent publication of a white paper on planning reform, “Planning for the Future.”

The proposals in the white paper are to replace the established planning system with a new system whereby land is classified into “growth,” “renewal” or “protection” zones, with outline permission granted automatically where a development meets the criteria for the relevant zone. This will fundamentally undermine democratic local control.

This council notes the significant concerns raised by key bodies to the proposals. The Royal Institute of British Architects have suggested that the plans are “shameful” and would do “almost nothing to guarantee the delivery of affordable, well-designed and sustainable homes.” Homelessness charity Shelter have argued that social housing “could face extinction” if the proposals go ahead. The Town and Country Planning Association have noted the success of the current system for volume house builders, the huge number of permissions granted that remain undelivered, and the threat the proposals make to local democracy.   

This council agrees that such a fundamental attack on democratic rights in the planning system demands cross party support and undertakes to consult all elected Members in formulating a response.

This council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to respond to the Planning for the Future consultation, to include the following; 

·         Oldham Council’s rejection of the proposals in the strongest form

·         The range of sites in Oldham that have planning permission but are not currently being taken forward by developers

·         The additional barriers to development arising from the cost of Brownfield land remediation and the need for sustainable subsidy to make sites viable

·         The importance of a robust planning process, with democratic control at its heart, to safeguard local communities and promote local priorities

·         The need for quality, affordable homes in Oldham, and the risk that the new proposals will fail to deliver, particularly with the removal of S.106 contributions that the National Housing Federation notes are the single biggest contributor to new affordable homes in the country

·         That affordability varies across the country and that the proposals in the White paper offer nothing for those needing housing at a social rent.

·         The outcomes agreed through the cross-party consultation.

 

Minutes:

Motion:  Planning for the Future

 

The Mayor had received notice that Councillor Roberts wished to alter the Motion.  The altered Motion had been circulated to Members.  The motion could be altered with the consent of the Seconder and agreement of Full Council.  Full Council agreed to the Motion being altered.

 

Councillor Roberts MOVED and Councillor Dean SECONDED the following ALTERED MOTION:

 

“This council notes the Government’s extension of permitted development rights and the recent publication of a white paper on planning reform, ‘Planning for the Future’.

The proposals in the white paper are to replace the established planning system with a new system whereby land is classified into ‘growth’, ‘renewal’ or ‘protection’ zones, with outline permission granted automatically where a development meets the criteria for the relevant zone.  This will fundamentally undermine democratic local control.

This council notes the significant concerns raised by key bodies to the proposals.  The Royal Institute of British Architects have suggested that the plans are ‘shameful’ and would do ‘almost nothing to guarantee the deliver of affordable, well-designed and sustainable homes’.  Homelessness charity Shelter have argued that social housing ‘could face extinction’ if the proposals go ahead.  The Town and Country Planning Association have noted the success of the current system for volume house builders, the huge number of permissions granted that remain undelivered, and the threat the proposals make to local democracy.  This council agrees that such a fundamental attack on democratic rights in the planning system demands cross party support and undertakes to consult all elected Members in formulating a response.

This council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to respond to the Planning for the Future consultation, to include the following:

·         Oldham Council’s rejection of the proposals in the strongest form

·         The range of sites in Oldham that have planning permission but are not currently being taken forward by developers, and which are not included in the Government’s assessment of whether Oldham Council is delivering enough development.

·         The additional barriers to development arising from the cost of Brownfield land remediation and the need for sustainable subsidy to make sites viable

·         The importance of a robust, transparent planning process, with democratic control at its heart, to safeguard local communities and promote local priorities

·         The need for quality, affordable homes in Oldham, and the risk that the new proposals will fail to deliver.  Replacing section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy contributions, which the National Housing Federation notes are the single biggest contributor to new affordable homes in the country, with a much smaller Infrastructure Levy, will massively reduce the targets for contributions, rather than trying to find ways to reach the current targets, which are so badly needed.

·         That affordability varies across the country and that the proposals in the White paper offer nothing for those needing housing at a social rent.

·         The outcomes through the cross-party consultation.

 

Councillor Al-Hamdani spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor H. Gloster spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Sheldon spoke against the Motion.

Councillor Harkness  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Notice of Opposition Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

 

Councillor Hamblett to MOVE and Councillor H Gloster to SECOND:

Not every Disability is Visible

This Council notes that:

  • The charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK is encouraging venues providing accessible public toilets to install new signage.  This is to help stop stigma and discrimination towards people with ‘invisible illnesses’ such as Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • There have been instances nationally where such individuals using an accessible toilet have been accused by staff members of being ineligible to use them.
  • These signs have two standing figures and a wheelchair user with the words Accessible Toilet and the logo ‘Not every disability is visible’.
  • The Government has decided recently that large accessible toilets for severely disabled people - known as Changing Places - will be made compulsory for large new buildings, such as shopping centres, supermarkets, sports and arts venues, in England from 2021.

Council resolves to:

  • Ensure that accessible toilets on Council premises bear these signs.
  • Ask town and district centre retailers and leisure outlets to do likewise with their accessible public toilets.
  • Seek advice from the charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK on the information and training we should provide to Council Staff members.  This is so they understand these illnesses and to prevent potential embarrassment for those who suffer with them.
  • Ensure that any Changing Places toilets in our buildings are properly signposted for visitors.
  • Ensure that the requirement to provide new Changing Place toilets is included within the Council’s future plans for new public buildings in the Borough.

 

Motion 2

 

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

Let’s all do our bit to tackle litter

Council is committed to tackling litter in our Borough and to working for cleaner streets and public spaces across our communities.

Council notes that:

·         The Keep Britain Tidy Campaign offers local authorities the opportunity to become a member of a Network, which provides access to specialist advice and support.

·         Keep Britain Tidy is hosting the Great British September Clean-Up from 11-27 September.

·         The campaign is also promoting a Love Parks campaign and a Charity Bin sponsorship scheme whereby the monies raised from recycling cans deposited in designated local authority bins is contributed to local charities.

·         Several national supermarket chains are now operating trials of reverse vending machines, where customers are rewarded for returning used cans and bottles for recycling.

·         The Government department DEFRA has also previously published a voluntary code for local businesses and local business partnerships to sign up to and reduce the litter that results from fast food businesses.

Council recognises that:

·         Whilst we are committed to tackling litter in our Borough, and to working for cleaner streets and public spaces across our communities, we cannot do this alone.

·         In the battle for cleaner streets and public spaces, we must involve the public and our business partners in a co-operative effort.

·         There are community champions and organisations commendably ‘doing their bit’.

·         The Keep Britain Tidy and DEFRA initiatives provide extra opportunities and an  ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

Minutes:

Motion 1:  Not Every Disability is Visible

 

Councillor Hamblett MOVED and Councillor H. Gloster SECONDED the following motion:

 

“This Council notes that:

·         The charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK is encouraging venues providing accessible public toilets to install new signage.  This is to help stop stigma and discrimination towards people with ‘invisible illnesses’ such as Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis.

·         There have been instances nationally where such individual using an accessible toilet have been accused by staff members of being ineligible to use them.

·         These signs have two standing figures and a wheelchair user with the words Accessible Toilet and the logo ‘Not every disability is visible’.

·         The Government has decided recently that large accessible toilets for severely disabled people – known as Changing Places – will be made compulsory for large new buildings, such as shopping centres, supermarkets, sports and arts venues, in England from 2021.

Council resolves to:

·         Ensure that accessible toilets on Council premises bear these signs.

·         Ask town and district centre retailers and leisure outlets to do likewise with their accessible public toilets.

·         Seek advice from the charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK on the information and training we should provide to Council staff members.  This is so they understand these illnesses and to prevent potential embarrassment for those who suffer with them.

·         Ensure that any Changing Places toilets in our buildings are property signposted for visitors.

·         Ensure that the requirement to provide new Changing Place toilets is included within the Council’s future plans for new public buildings in the borough.”

 

Councillor Hobin spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Al-Hamdani spoke in support of the Motion.

 

Councillor Roberts MOVED and Councillor Jabbar SECONDED that under Council Procedure Rule 14.9h) the Motion be referred to Overview and Scrutiny.

 

Councillor Hamblett exercised his right of reply.

 

On being put to the vote, that the motion be REFERRED to Overview and Scrutiny was CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

 

RESOLVED that under Council Procedure Rule 14.9h), the motion be referred to Overview and Scrutiny.

 

Motion 2:  Let’s All Do Our Bit to Tackle Litter

 

Councillor Williamson MOVED and Councillor Al-Hamdani SECONDED the following MOTION:

 

“Council is committed to tackling litter in our Borough and to working for cleaner streets and public spaces across our communities.

Council notes that:

·         The Keep Britain Tidy Campaign offers local authorities the opportunity to become a member of a Network, which provides access to specialist advice and support.

·         Keep Britain Tidy is hosting the Great British September Clean-Up from 11 – 27 September.

·         The campaign is also promoting a Love Parks campaign and a Charity Bin sponsorship scheme whereby the monies raised from recycling cans deposited in designated local authority bins is contributed to local charities.

·         Several national supermarket chains are now operating trials of reverse vending machines, where customers are rewarded for returning used cans and bottles for recycling.

·         The Government department DEFRA has also previously published a voluntary code for local businesses and local business partnerships to sign up to and reduce the letter that results  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Covid-19 Update pdf icon PDF 386 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Fielding SECONDED a report which h provide an update on how the Council continued to monitor and manage the spread of the coronavirus pandemic locally.

 

COVID-19 was still circulating across the UK and new cases were still being seen across Oldham every day.  The Council had a clear plan in case of an outbreak locally.  The report summarised the local restrictions that had been introduced, identified associated activity and highlighted the approach taken by the Council to tackle the increase in numbers.

 

Oldham had joined forces with Greater Manchester and national agencies such as Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care to escalate messaging to the public.  In line with the agreed plan, Oldham had increased the number of testing sites in the borough.  Testing was taking place at a higher rate than the national average with positivity falling.  Locally supported contact tracing had been in place since 13th August 2020 and 80% of cases passed to the local team had been successfully completed. 

 

Question received from Councillor Sykes:

 

“The Cabinet Member will be aware of the shambles that occurred with the local mobile testing centre in Shaw, and elsewhere in Oldham.  In Shaw on the first day that the centre was supposed to operate, it failed to show and on the second day, it arrived several hours late.  It also failed to turn with all the kit on another date and left early on its last day.  Shaw and Crompton residents who had booked a test online arrive to find there was not centre at which to take a test.  I understand that this shambles also occurred at other sites elsewhere in Oldham.  This situation has undermined the credibility of these facilities and has caused a great deal of inconvenience and concern to my constituents.  I know that these facilities are operated by a private sector company appointed by the government, so the Council is not at fault, but could the Cabinet Member please tell me what this Council is doing to ensure that these testing centres arrive on time and are present at their assigned locations and at their assigned days of operation in future?”

 

Councillor Shah, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Covid-19 Response responded that Oldham Council staff and members had escalated concerns about the reliability of the mobile testing unit service to NHS Test and Trace as soon as the problems in Shaw emerged.  In recent weeks reliability of the service had improved significantly, with three mobile testing units operating in the borough each day.  Additional officer capacity had been identified to ensure that there was a single point of contact in place to rapidly address any problems with future deployments should they occur.  Thanks were also given to the Chief Executive in her role at a national level.

 

Question received from Councillor Williamson:

 

“Oldham Council employs staff who come from across our communities and who speak a wide variety of community  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

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 Sheldon referred to the Council Action Update related to the Tackling Speeding motion and asked the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board to ask if High Street, Uppermill could be taken into consideration in future years programme.  The Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Board agreed to investigate the issue.

 

RESOLVED that the actions regarding motions and issues from previous Council meeting be agreed and the correspondence and updates provided be noted.

14.

Council Motion: Making a Commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor McLaren MOVED and Councillor Akhtar SECONDED a report which provided feedback on the Council motion entitled ‘Making a Commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals’.  The Overview and Scrutiny Board and the Health Scrutiny Committee had been asked to identify the work that was being done by the Council and its partners and what more could be done with its’ findings and recommendations. 

 

Councillor Hamblett MOVED and Councillor C. Gloster SECONDED the following AMENDMENT to the report:

 

“Add at the top of Page 16, a new section 17.2 to read:

 

’17.2   Oldham is the first borough in the UK to have embraced the Pledge to Peace, an initiative launched at the European Parliament in November 2011 to promote a ‘culture of peace across Europe’.

This has attracted significant positive coverage for Oldham, with the borough increasingly seen as a place of peace and an exemplar to others.

·         Oldham Council and Shaw and Crompton Parish Council are currently the only two local authorities in the UK to have become signatories of the Pledge.

·         Oldham Council was the first organisation to appoint a Pledge to Peace Mayor, former Councillor Derek Heffernan.

·         The Oldham Pledge to Peace now has 52 affiliated signatory organisations, making the Forum the biggest organisation of its kind representing the Pledge to Peace.  These affiliates include Oldham Council, Shaw and Crompton Council, twenty-six of our borough’s schools and colleges and the Oldham Youth Council.

·         Delegates from the Oldham Pledge to Peace Forum have represented Oldham – at their own expense – at high-level events in the UK, Italy, Germany and Australia, as well as visiting the European Parliament.

·         This has included making presentations at Oldham’s work in the UK and Europe to four conferences and at meetings with Ambassadors, Mayors, Members of the European Parliament and the Ambassador to the Pledge to Peace, Mr Prem Rawat.

·         For five consecutive year, until 2019, the Forum also hosted, with the support of Council officers, a celebratory event at Gallery Oldham / Oldham Library to mark the UN International Day of Peace (21 September).

·         Oldham Council is also an affiliate of the international Mayor for Peace initiative, which campaigns for a nuclear weapon free world.

·         Consequently, Oldham was one of only three locations in the UK visited by two delegations from Hiroshima – one from the National Peace Memorial Hall for Atomic Bomb Victims, which met with the Oldham Youth Council, and one of Hibakusha (Japanese A-bomb survivors), who at Alexandra Park planted seeds received as a gift from the Mayor of Hiroshima.

·         These seeds were sourced from city-centre trees which survived the atomic bombing.  Later this year, they will be planted in several parks and at Pledge to Peace schools.

·         Oldham is also the only municipality to have hosted a delegation from Neve Shalom – Wahat al-Salam (the Oasis of Peace), a village founded in Israel on the basis of equality and co-operation between its Jewish and Arab inhabitants, to sign an exclusive international agreement to work for peace  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which outlined the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) 2020. 

 

The SCI set out how Oldham Council would involve the community in the preparation and the revision of planning policy such as the Local Plan, together with consideration of planning applications.

 

RESOLVED that the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) be adopted and made available to view alongside the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA).

16.

Treasury Management Review 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Finance which provided details of the Treasury Management Review for 2019/20.

 

The Council was required by regulations issued under the Local Government Act 2003 to produce an annual treasury management review of activities and the actual prudential and treasury indicators for 2019/20.  This report met the requirements of both the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management (the Code) and the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (the Prudential Code).

 

During 2019/20 the minimum reporting requirements were that the full Council should receive the following reports:

·         An annual treasury strategy in advance of the year (approved 27 February 2019);

·         A mid-year (minimum) treasury update report (approved 8 January 2020); and

·         An annual review following the end of the year describing the activity compared to the strategy (this report).

 

The regulatory environment placed responsibility on Members for the review and scrutiny of treasury management policy and activities.  The report was therefore important in that respect, as it provided details of the outturn position for treasury activities and highlighted compliance with the Council’s policies previously approved by Members.

 

The Council confirmed that it had complied with the requirements under the Code to give prior scrutiny to the treasury strategy and the mid-year update.  The Audit Committee was charged with the scrutiny of treasury management activities in Oldham and reviewed the content of this annual report at its meeting on 21st July 2020 and commended the report to Cabinet.  The report was considered by Cabinet at tis meeting on 24th August 2020 and commended the report to Council.  Approval of the report by Council would ensure full compliance with the Code for 2019/20.

 

During 2019/20, the Council had complied with its legislative and regulatory requirements.  The key actual prudential and treasury indicators with detailed the impact of capital expenditure activities during the year with comparators was outlined in the report.  The actual capital expenditure was less than the revised budget estimate for 2019/20 presented within the 2020/21 Treasury Management Strategy report considered at the Council meeting held on 26 February 2020.  The outturn position was significantly less than the £84.332m original capital budget for 2019/20 as approved at Budget Council on 27 February 2019.

 

The Capital Programme had seen substantial rephasing.  A number of major schemes including a number of schools’ schemes in the Children’s Service Directorate were rephased.  The Asset Management (Education) Essential Condition Works provision was realigned into future years to align with other works being undertaken at schools.  Housing Revenue Account (HRA) schemes were rephased into 2020/21 to align with the latest HRA Strategy.  In addition, the ‘Creating a Better Place’ Strategy required a number of existing regeneration projects to be reviewed and rephased to align to the long-term vision of the strategy.  Also, during the year, the Information Technology (IT) Capital Strategy, the Strategic Roadmap was reviewed.  The outcome was a rephasing of resources to ensure that the Council’s future IT offer took account  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 440 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report for 2019/20.  The report outlined the purpose of Overview and Scrutiny, the roles and responsibilities of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, the Performance and Value for Money Select Committee and the Health Scrutiny Committee.  The report contained a summary of the work undertaken in 2019/20.

 

In moving the report, Councillor McLaren thanked members and officers for their support during the previous Municipal Year.

 

RESOLVED that the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report for 2019/20 be approved.