Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 4th November, 2020 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Liz Drogan 

Items
No. Item

1.

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

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 were received from Councillors Akhtar, S. Bashforth, Chadderton, Ibrahim and Williams.

2.

To order that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 9th September 2020 be signed as a correct record pdf icon PDF 470 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Fielding made an observation and noted that in the minutes of the previous meeting there were three motions submitted under Opposition Business and that the had been the case since he had been Leader and had been the case since 2015 and that this information was available on the Council’s website.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 9th September 2020 be approved as a correct record.

3.

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

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 9d by virtue of her husband’s employment with Greater Manchester Police.

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

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

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

 

 

4.

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

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

5.

To receive communications relating to the business of the Council

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Members that Councillor Chadderton had given birth to a little girl and asked Members to join her in congratulations to Councillor Chadderton.

6.

To receive and note petitions received relating to the business of the Council pdf icon PDF 119 KB

(time limit 20 minutes)

Minutes:

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

 

People and Place

 

Reference 2020-10: Request for 3.5 Tonne Access Weight Limit to be Imposed on Cooper Street (Saddleworth West & Lees and Saddleworth North Wards) received on 1 September 2020 with 50 signatures

 

Reference 2020-11: Petition for a Request for Improvement to Alleyways (St. Mary’s Ward) received on 3 September with 80 signatures

 

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

7.

Leader's Annual Statement

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Sean Fielding, delivered his third Annual Statement.  The Leader reminded members that the previous year he had reflected on the turbulent political period and a budget decimated by austerity, questions over the Brexit withdrawal agreement and the December general election, but that was now an understatement.

 

The Leader highlighted the launch of the Town Centre Vision which was a plan to invest in the borough, to boost the local economy and make it a greener, cleaner and better place to live.  The pandemic had prompted for these plans to be revisited.  The Leader reflected on the loss of loved ones, young people who had missed months of schooling, residents who had lost jobs, spent time furloughed or worried about the future of their employers or businesses.  There had been a cycle of confusing and changing restrictions which had impacted on people’s mental and physical health. 

 

The Leader also noted that the outcome of Brexit was still awaited.

 

The Leader noted the challenge to the Council’s revenue budget which after another year of being told by Government to do more with less, the Council were instructed to spend whatever it took to tackle Covid.  It was seen across the country that local authorities were on the brink of bankruptcy but the local government finance settlement for 2021/22 had not yet to be seen to help plan with confidence.

 

The Leader made reference to the lockdown, Government initiatives and re-imposition of restrictions at a local level when case numbers rose without support deemed necessary the first-time round.  The Leader also referred to another national lockdown which was due to be start at midnight and to the impact on lives and the economy and the places that would be worst affected was where poverty was the highest.  People in areas with a lot of poverty were more likely to live in cramped and overcrowded housing, do frontline key worker jobs that involved interaction with the public and more likely to have other health conditions that increased the risk from Covid.  The Leader made reference to the scapegoating of communities and how it had encouraged a rise in racism, and the ignorance as the virus was in all towns and villages. 

 

The Leader referred to the work being done by mutual aid groups, Council officers and the voluntary sector in providing information, support and tests and partners and businesses across the borough who had stepped in to feed young people when the Government had decided not to.  The Leader referred to the impact Government intervention could have and highlighted train and bus services as well as the furlough and business support scheme.

 

The Leader highlighted the need for better social care, the value of a good home and the importance of green space. 

 

The Leader highlighted what could be done locally despite the huge budget challenge and announced the purchase of Spindles which was an investment in a central, strategically important site. The Leader added that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Youth Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

 

There was no Youth Council business received.

Minutes:

There were no items submitted by the Youth Council.

9.

Questions Time

9a

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 240 KB

The following public question was not reached in the time allocated.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that the next item on the agenda was Public Question Time.  Questions had been received from members of the public and would be taken in the order in which they had been received.  Council was advised that the questions would be read out by Mayor.

 

The following questions were submitted:

 

1.         Question received from Joshua Charters via email:

 

            “What action is the council taking to deter fly tipping across the borough, specifically in the Medlock Vale ward, where fly tipping has caused many streets to become an eyesore?”

 

            Councillor Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture responded that the Council took the matter of fly tipping extremely seriously and had in the last few years increased the staff to enforce and collect fly tipping with the need arose.  The district partnerships worked closely with local communities to educate people in doing the right thing which included how to dispose of waste through domestic waste streams, including recycling, to try to minimise the amount of waste left for others to collect.  The Council had also streamlined the reporting procedure which could be found on the Council’s website to make it easier to report and get information on the progress of how the waste had been dealt with.  In all cases where evidence was found, the Council issued a fixed penalty of up to £400 or if this went unpaid, the Council would prosecute.  If, as in some cases, those responsible could not be identified, the Council aimed to remove the waste at the earliest opportunity up to a maximum of 20 days.  It was assured that Oldham Council was serious when dealing with fly tipping and did all it could within the law to ensure that those irresponsible people were dealt with in the most appropriate way and would eventually see an end to the blight that such behaviour caused.

 

2.         Question received from Connor Green via email:

 

            “Work has finally started on Saddleworth School though many children who should have attended the new building are now grown up.  When is the new school expected to be open for pupils who deserve a much better learning environment than that in Uppermill?”

 

            Councillor Mushtaq, Cabinet Member for Education, responded that the Department for Education (DfE) had advised that Interserve, the main contractor for the new Saddleworth School, were due to handover the school by the start of March 2022.

 

3.         Question received from Mark Rooney via email:

 

            “Remembrance Sunday Services are due to take place soon and it is likely that we will still be under some kind of restrictions on social gatherings because of Covid 19.  Has the Council got contingency plans in place to commemorate the war fallen on Remembrance Sunday if services cannot take place in the usual way?”

 

            Councillor Shah, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Covid-19 Response responded that the decision not to hold parades or ceremonies at each memorial this year was not an easy one.  The Council looked very  ...  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: A future for Oldham’s town centre shopping centres?

 

“My first question tonight concerns the future of the Spindles and Town Square shopping centres.  It would be remiss of me firstly to not congratulate the Leader on becoming Oldham Borough’s biggest shopkeeper.  It is a bold venture to purchase not one, but two shopping centres, in today’s retail climate, but I understand the Leader described it as an ‘absolute bargain’.  Let us all hope so.  Many of the units in both the Spindles and the Town Square shopping centres lie empty, some of these for a long time, and consequently many residents are wondering whether this in fact represents a risky purchase.  Town centres across Britain are becoming increasingly devoid of customers as many people are today wary of stepping much further than their doorsteps with the ever-present threat of Covid-19, and the pandemic has massively exacerbated the trend of the last decade for shoppers to turn more and more to their keyboards to order goods from mail order stores or the supermarket.  The Leader has spoken about moving Tommyfield Market in its entirety into these two shopping centres and relocating hundreds of Council staff above the shops, though I am sure many will be working from home for the foreseeable future, if not forever.  These actions to repurpose the shopping centres will cost significant sums of money as will their refurbishment.  The Council’s relationship with some Tommyfield Market traders has in recent history not been a happy one with some traders feeling abandoned.  Can the Leader tonight tell us what discussions Council officers have held in advance of the purchase with the Tommyfield Market traders, what their response has been to the proposals, and what incentives and support this Council will provide them with to make the move?  Now the Leader has let us know the purchase cost of £9.5m to Oldham Council Taxpayers.  Can he also tell us more about the Administration’s plans for these two shopping precincts to make them vibrant once more, whether as a renewed and reduced retail offer, as town centre homes, as a new civic hub, or event as a potential new home for Coliseum?”

 

Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills thanked the Leader of the Main Opposition for the constructive challenge on the issue and many of the questions he had raised on behalf of residents which the Leader noted were legitimate concerns for people to raise.  The Leader responded that it was a disappointment to walk around Spindles and the Town Square Shopping Centre as it was at the moment with the number of vacant units and that was why the Council’s control of the shopping centre allowed something to be done that could stimulate things and drive more footfall into the shopping centre by repurposing it in many of the ways that had already been discussed, moving Tommyfield traders  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9b

9c

Questions on Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 277 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

24thAugust 2020 (reconvened 28th August 2020)

28th September 2020

Urgent Key Decisions

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 24th August 2020, 28th September 2020 and urgent key decisions taken from 29th October 2019 to 26th October 2020 were submitted.

 

Members raised the following question:

 

Councillor Ahmad asked the following question related to Cabinet, 24 August 2020 (reconvened 28 August 2020), Items 9 and 21 – Creating A Better Place:

 

“I can see that the Cabinet has reviewed Creating a Better Place, including the Oldham Town Centre Vision, and agreed which projects can go ahead in the current financial circumstances. Personally, I believe it to be fantastic news that the Council have secured ownership of the Spindles shopping centre.  It is unfortunate that the price cannot be released as I am sure the Council would not have bought the centre had it not been a good deal.  It is clear that some of the Council’s detractors are exploiting the understandable lack of understanding of complex local government finance and the distinction between capital and revenue budgets for cynical political gain.  Can the relevant cabinet member explain why the Spindles purchase does not affect the Council’s day to day budget and the ability to employ staff and deliver essential services?”

 

Councillor Fielding, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills responded that the distinction between capital and revenue expenditure was not understood by the public, but understandably so as it was quite unique to Local Government.  The majority of members did understand that distinction but there were some who did not or pretended that they didn’t in order to make a political point.  As many councillors would know, local government was forced to observe a distinction between capital and revenue expenditure in local authorities.  Capital was money that could only be used for one-off costs such as the purchase of a building like Spindles whilst revenue was to be used for ongoing costs such as the payment of staff wages.  Therefore the purchase of Spindles Shopping Centre from the capital budget had not used funds that could have otherwise been used to mitigate the impact of the cuts the Council faced to the revenue budget and paid staff wages or ran day-to-day services.  As the Leader had confirmed in his statement earlier, the Council had secured the centre for £9.5m which was less than a quarter of what the previous owners had paid.  In the intervening period since the Leader of the Minority Opposition’s question, there had been a rumour that the Council had taken on debt liabilities from the previous owners of the centre.  The Leader noted that this was a rumour and that no debt had been taken on and the building had been bought for £9.5m.

 

RESOLVED  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9c

9d

Questions on Joint Arrangements pdf icon PDF 415 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

Greater Manchester Transport Committee                      14 August 2020

 

Greater Manchester Waste and Recycling                     22 July 2020

Committee

 

Greater Manchester Combined Authority                        2 September 2020

                                                                                                25 September 2020

 

AGMA Executive Board                                                      31 July 2020

                                                                                                9 September 2020

 

Police, Fire and Crime Panel                                             20 July 2020

 

Commissioning Partnership Board                                   23 July 2020

                                                                                                24 September 2020

 

MioCare Board                                                                     23 July 2020

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

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

 

Greater Manchester Transport Committee                      14 August 2020

Greater Manchester Waste and Recycling                     22 July 2020

Committee

Greater Manchester Combined Authority                        2 September 2020

                                                                                                25 September 2020

AGMA Executive Board                                                      31 July 2020

                                                                                                9 September 2020

Police, Fire and Crime Panel                                             20 July 2020

Commissioning Partnership Board                                   23 July 2020

                                                                                                24 September 2020

MioCare Board                                                                     23 July 2020

 

Members raised the following questions:

 

1.         Councillor Murphy asked the following question on the Greater Manchester Waste and Recycling Committee minutes, 22 July 2020, Minute WRC 20/40, Communications and Behavioural Change Action Plan Progress:

“Members may recall that at a meeting of Oldham Council in July 2016, the Liberal Democrats brought a motion asking for a local bin app which was almost unanimously supported across the Chamber. The motion was approved by Council and it was pleasing that two years later the then Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority introduced the R4GM app.  The R4GM bin app for mobile phones contained information such as ‘Where’s my nearest…?’, ‘When’s my bin collected?’, ‘What do I do with…?’, ‘What can I recycle at home?’ and a Contact Us.  I have used the app and found it really helpful and the feedback I have received from local residents, when I have directed them to it, has been positive. When we are looking to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill the app can only be a good thing.  It was quick and easy to use, and the information you needed was at your fingertips.  We need to use such technology in our fight to increase ‘re-use’ and ‘recycling’ and therefore save cash for much need community projects.  I understand that GMCA are looking at procuring a new app – therefore, could I ask the relevant Cabinet member for GMWRC spokesperson firstly if they were aware of the decommissioning of the app; secondly to support the procurement of the new app and thirdly when can we expect the new app to go live?”

 

Councillor Ur-Rehman, Council spokesperson for the Greater Manchester Waste and Recycling Committee responded that it was agreed at the GMCA Waste Committee on 12 March 2020 that the R4GM app was to be decommissioned and that he was aware of this.  The app had ceased, however, all of the information on the app could be found on the Oldham Council and Recycle for Greater Manchester website.  The procurement of a new app was fully supported.  GMCA had not provided definitive timelines in terms of the date for the app, but the Council has asked for information and this will be forwarded to the elected member as soon as the information was available.

 

2.         Councillor Roberts asked the following question submitted by Councillor S. Bashforth on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority minutes, 2 September 2020, GMCA 144/20, Approval  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9d

10.

Progress Update on the Oldham Review of Safeguarding Practice pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council noted an overview of support that the Council and its statutory safeguarding partners were providing to the ongoing independent review into historical safeguarding practice in Oldham which was launched in November 2019.  Due to the independent nature of the review, an update on the current lines of enquiry or any findings could not be given until the review was completed and the Independent Review Team had reported.  This was expected towards the end of the calendar year.

 

In November 2019, Oldham Council and Oldham Safeguarding Partnership had commissioned an independent review into historical safeguarding practice in Oldham.  The review was established in response to allegations and concerns related to child sexual exploitation (CSE) raised by members of the public on social media.  The Leader of Oldham Council and the Chair of Oldham’s Safeguarding Partnership wrote jointly to the Mayor of Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Safeguarding Standards Board requesting a dedicated investigation into the effectiveness of the response to historic CSE in Oldham be carried out by the existing Independent Review Team who were already delivering an assurance exercise into Greater Manchester CSE practice. 

 

The Independent Review Team, Malcolm Newsam CBE, a child-care expert with extensive experience driving improvement in children’s services, and Gary Ridgeway, previously a Detective Superintendent and Head of Public Protection, were currently undertaking a review of the practice of Oldham Council and its partner safeguarding agencies in response to allegations of child sexual exploitation.

 

The review would focus on historical allegations related to Child Sexual Exploitation and would consider whether the Council, along with its statutory safeguarding partners, provided an appropriate response to protect children vulnerable to or known to be victims of child sexual exploitation.  The scope of the review included, but was not limited to:

·         The Council and its statutory safeguarding partners response to allegations of CSE between 2011 and 2014 with particular reference to concerns expressed on social media that agencies were aware of the abuse, failed to respond appropriately and covered up any failings.

·         The risk posed to children from local shisha establishments during the period 2011 – 2014;

·         The nature and extent to which adults had inappropriate access to children and young people resident in children’s homes in Oldham during 2011 – 2014;

·         The nature and extent of the use of local taxi services to access children and young people for the purposes of CSE during 2011 – 2014;

·         Allegations or concerns expressed related to specific cases; and

·         The cases of known offenders previously employed by Oldham Council and the extent to which the historical actions and employment records had been investigated by the Council.

Additionally, where it was considered necessary to inform the overall purpose of the review, the review team had, and would continue to consider matters outside of the 2011 – 2014 timeframe.

 

The full terms of the reference were appended to the report.

 

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) provided overall governance of the review and oversight was provided by a GM Steering Group which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

COVID-19 Update pdf icon PDF 423 KB

Minutes:

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

 

Covid-19 was still circulating in the UK and a rise in cases continued across Oldham every day.  The report summarised activity and demonstrated how the Council and its partners collectively managed and prevented the spread of Covid-19 across the Borough’s communities following the implementation of new restrictions. 

 

Over the past several months Covid-19 cases had risen in Oldham, across Greater Manchester and nationally.  As cases continued to rise across the UK, central government had introduced three-tier coronavirus alert levels.  On Friday, 23 October Oldham, with the rest of Greater Manchester, was placed into local Covid alert very high (Tier 3) restrictions.  Oldham’s response had been broken into four key themes:  Test, Trace, Enforcement & Compliance, and Community Engagement and Communications. 

 

The ongoing aim of Oldham Council’s local testing approach was to test at least 500 people/100,000 a day and to have testing sites operating in all districts of the borough each week.  Testing continued at a higher daily average than Greater Manchester and national counterparts.  A data and intelligence led mapping exercise had been undertaken to identify suitable local testing sites and was reviewed by the Testing Bronze Group.

 

The Council recognised that Test and Trace was both a key part of the immediate response to Covid-19 and a feature of the locality system for the foreseeable future.  Alongside other Greater Manchester Authorities, the Council had invested in a Greater Manchester Contact Tracing Hub which handled complex cases and situations referred on from the national contact tracing service.

 

The report also outlined information related to Enforcement and Compliance and Community Engagement and Communications.  The report also outlined the financial implications of the pandemic on the Council, the allocation of grants, specific Tier 3 support and business support at Tier 2.

 

Question received from Councillor Williamson:

 

“The enforcement of the mandatory wearing of face coverings in supermarkets and shops.  Whilst the wearing of face coverings has been mandatory in supermarkets and shops since July 24, there are still many instances of customers not wearing them whilst shopping.  Some customers are entitled to be exempted from wearing them on medical grounds, but the majority are not.  I know that unions and the British Retail Consortium have expressed concerns over the safety of staff asking customers to wear masks, so clearly it is not reasonable to expect shop staff to take sole responsibility for enforcing the law.  Can the Cabinet Member therefore please answer a two-part question?

What we as a local authority are doing to encourage retailers to promote the take up of the Sunflower Scheme whereby customers with a medical condition are issued with a lanyard identifying their exemption?  How this authority is working with retailers and with the Police to enforce compliance and to fine those individuals who are not exempted and who continue to flout the rules?”

 

Councillor Shah,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Notice of Administration Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

 

Councillor Shah to MOVE and Councillor Surjan to SECOND:

Recover, Retrain, Rebuild

The Council notes that the Chancellor has announced a patchwork of schemes to provide support to jobs and companies which have been affected by coronavirus restrictions and has rushed out changes to previous measures as it has become apparent that infection rates continue to rise and more and more areas will be enter Tiers 2 and 3 .

The Council believes that while the Job Retention Scheme was a historic investment of taxpayers' money to avert widespread job losses, this massive, unprecedented investment will, essentially, go to waste as millions of people, including thousands in the Borough of Oldham, who have suffered throughout the Covid-19 crisis, now face the very real prospect of unemployment as their jobs are not viable to return to at this moment in time under Covid-19.

While this Council acknowledges that support to Tier 2 jobs and businesses has been backdated to areas including Oldham which have been under restrictions since July 2020, it regrets that support will have come too late to save some otherwise viable jobs and businesses.

This Council believes we need a strategy that focuses on recovering jobs, retraining workers and rebuilding our country. This strategy must involve:

1) A job Recovery Scheme that allows staff to work reduced hours, with the Government subsidising a proportion of wages for the rest of the week. The scheme should be designed to reward companies who bring back more workers part-time, rather than bringing some back full-time and letting others go.

2) A nationwide Retraining Strategy for the unemployed and those facing unemployment. This strategy must help those whose hours have been cut to increase their skills to retrain and enable people who have lost jobs to transition into new work.

3)  A business Rebuilding Scheme which must give businesses, who have taken advantage of Government loan schemes, the payments for which start in March, the confidence and security that they will be able to continue operating past March 2021, or else a whole new set of businesses and workers may well be pushed back underneath then.  

 

The Council therefore resolves to instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to revisit their scheme, work with business and trade unions and create one that will help our towns, borough and country recover, retrain and rebuild.

 

Motion 2

 

Councillor Ball to MOVE and Councillor Hulme to SECOND:

Remembrance Sunday will be the 8th November 2020.

The Royal British Legion, supported by the Council, traditionally organises commemoration events at the Oldham War memorial and at 6 other locations across the borough. It is with great regret that this Council notes that it will not be possible in 2020 to hold the public services which have been well attended for many years.

The Council has worked with the Royal British Legion, the police and faith groups to decide how to pay  ...  view the full agenda text for item 12.

Minutes:

Motion 1 – Recover, Retrain, Rebuild

 

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Surjan SECONDED the following MOTION:

 

“The Council notes that the Chancellor has announced a patchwork of schemes to provide support to jobs and companies which have been affected by coronavirus restrictions and has rushed out changes to previous measures as it has become apparent that infection rates continue to rise and more and more areas will be enter Tiers 2 and 3.

The Council believes that while the Job Retention Scheme was a historic investment of taxpayers’ money to avert widespread job losses, unprecedented investment will, essentially, go to waste as millions of people, including thousands in the Borough of Oldham, who have suffered throughout the Covid-19 crisis, now face the very real prospect of unemployment as their jobs are not viable to return to at this moment in time under Covid-19.

While this Council acknowledges that support to Tier 2 jobs and businesses has been backdated to areas including Oldham which have been under restrictions since July 2020, it regrets that support will have come too late to save some otherwise viable jobs and businesses.

This Council believes we need a strategy that focuses on recovering jobs, retraining workers and rebuilding our country.  This strategy must involve:

1)   A Job Recovery Scheme that allows staff to work reduced hours, with the Government subsidising a proportion of wages for the rest of the week.  The scheme should be designed to reward companies who bring back more workers part-time, rather than bringing some back full-time and letting others go.

2)   A nationwide Retraining Strategy for the unemployed and those facing unemployment.  This strategy must help those whose hours have been cut to increase their skills to retrain and enable people who have lost jobs to transition to new work.

3)   A business Rebuilding Scheme which must give businesses, who have taken advantage of Government loan schemes, the payments for which start in March, the confidence and security that they will be able to continue operating past March 2021, or else a whole new set of businesses and workers may well be pushed back underneath then.

The Council therefore resolves to instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to revisit their scheme, work with business and trade unions and create one that will help our towns, borough and country recover, retrain and rebuild.”

 

Councillor C. Gloster spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Roberts spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Al-Hamdani spoke in support of the motion.

 

Councillor Shah exercised her right of reply.

 

On being put to the vote, 50 votes were cast in FAVOUR of the MOTION and 0 votes were cast AGAINST with 1 ABSTENTION.  The MOTION was therefore CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED that the Chief Executive be instructed to write to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to revisit their scheme, work with business and trade unions and create one that will help with our towns,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Notice of Opposition Business

 (time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

Councillor Sykes to MOVE and Councillor Williamson to SECOND:

20’s Plenty in 2020

This Council notes that:

·         speed limits on Britain’s residential roads are 60% higher than in Europe.

·         more than half of all road accident casualties occur on roads with 30mph limits.

·         that a pedestrian is 7 times more likely to die if they are hit by a vehicle travelling at 30 miles per hour than they are at 20 mph and 10 times more likely if aged 60 or older.

·         reducing speed limits on residential roads has been found to reduce the incidence of accidents, the numbers of fatalities and serious injuries that result, and air pollution.

·         over 20 million citizens live in local authorities in the UK, including five authorities in Greater Manchester, which have adopted or are adopting a default speed limit of 20mph on residential roads.

·         the default speed limit of 20mph has been adopted by other local authorities without the implementation of physical calming measures.

·         in February 2020, road safety experts from 130 countries adopted the ‘Stockholm Declaration’ recommending 20mph / 30kph as the preferred default speed limit on residential roads and, in August 2020, the UN General Assembly endorsed this recommendation.

 

This Council recognises that:

·         If we are to ‘build back better’ after Covid-19, one of our key concerns must be to address all aspects of public health.

·         This should include lowering the default speed of motor vehicles driven on our residential roads to reduce the danger to residents.

·         Such a measure should be boroughwide and comprehensive.

 

This Council therefore resolves to:

·         Seek in principle to implement a borough-wide 20 mph speed limit on residential roads.

·         Ask the Overview and Scrutiny Board to look again at the practicalities and timescale of introducing such a scheme, in consultation with the 20’s Plenty Campaign, for consideration by full Council at the earliest possible opportunity.

 

 

Motion 2

 

Councillor Al-Hamdani to MOVE and Councillor Hazel Gloster to SECOND:

Let’s make street harassment a crime

This Council is committed to making our Borough a safer place for everyone.

Council notes:

 

        Public sexual harassment is the most common form of violence against women and girls, restricting their freedom of movement and expression;

        That in surveys two-thirds of women and girls report they have faced street harassment in the UK;

        That street harassment in the UK is not covered by any specific offence, unlike in Portugal, Belgium and France;

        That stopping street harassment would be a powerful step in tackling inequality and keeping women safe;

        The incredible work of Our Streets Now, and their petition which has attracted over 200,000 signatures to make street harassment a specific crime;

        That according to a report by Our Streets Now, only 14 per cent of pupils have been taught about public sexual harassment at school, and that 47 per cent of them would not report an incident of public sexual harassment to their school because they were afraid or feared they  ...  view the full agenda text for item 13.

Minutes:

At this point in the meeting Councillor Hobin raised a Point of Order and referred to Opposition Motion 4 on the agenda and the Amendment put forward on the Motion.  In reference to Council Procedure Rules, Councillor Hobin sought clarification that as the Amendment looked like a complete rewrite, if the Amendment should be allowed and also sought clarification as to if the Amendment had been received before the deadline.  Clarification was provided that the Amendment had been received before the deadline and that the Amendment was valid. 

 

Motion 1 – 20’s Plenty in 2020

 

Councillor Sykes MOVED and Councillor Williamson SECONDED the following MOTION:

 

“This Council notes that:

·         Speed limits on Britain’s residential roads are 60% higher than in Europe.

·         More than half of all road accident casualties occur on roads with 30mph limits.

·         That a pedestrian is 7 times more likely to die if they are hit be a vehicle travelling at 30 miles per hour than they are at 20mph and 10 times more likely if aged 60 or older.

·         Reducing speed limits on residential roads has been found to reduce the incidence of accidents, the numbers of fatalities and serious injuries that result, and air pollution.

·         Over 20 million citizens live in local authorities in the UK, including five authorities in Greater Manchester, which have adopted or are adopting a default speed limit of 20mph on residential roads.

·         The default speed limit of 20mph has been adopted by other local authorities without the implementation of physical calming measures.

·         In February 2020, road safety experts from 130 countries adopted the ‘Stockholm Declaration’ recommending 20mph / 30kph as the preferred default speed limit on residential roads and, in August 2020, the UN General Assembly endorsed this recommendation.

This Council recognises that:

·         If we are to ‘build back better’ after Covid-19, one of our key concerns must be to address all aspects of public health.

·         This should include lowering the default speed of motor vehicles driven on our residential roads to reduce the danger to residents.

·         Such a measure should be boroughwide and comprehensive.

This Council therefore resolves to:

·         Seek in principle to implement a borough-wide 20 mph speed limit on residential roads.

·         Ask the Overview and Scrutiny Board to look again at the practicalities and timescale of introducing such a scheme, in consultation with the 20’s Plenty Campaign, for consideration by full Council at the earliest opportunity.”

 

 

Councillor Harkness spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor C. Gloster spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Hudson spoke on the Motion.

 

Councillor Sykes exercised his right of reply.

 

Councillor Sykes raised a point of order related to timing as electronic voting was not working and it was confirmed that time needed for votes to be taken would not be included in the timing of the motions.

 

On being put to the vote, 45 votes were cast in FAVOUR of the MOTION and 0 votes were cast AGAINST with 5 ABSTENTIONS.  The MOTION was therefore CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.         The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Update on Actions from Council pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Fielding MOVED and Councillor Jabbar SECONDED an extension to the timing of the meeting to allow for consideration of Items 14 and 15.  This was AGREED.

 

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

 

Councillor Sykes spoke on the report.

 

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

15.

Council Size Submission - Electoral Review of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council gave consideration to a report of the Director of Legal Services.  The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) had informed the Council of its decision to carry out an Electoral Review of the Council and the number of wards and ward boundaries for the Council.  The outcome of the review would be implemented for the 2023 Council elections. 

 

Under Stage 1, the Council was required to provide the Commission with a Council Size Submission which provided the Council’s view on the appropriate number of Councils (council size) using relevant supporting evidence.  The submission date to the Local Government Boundary Commission was 23rd November 2020.

 

The Council Size Submission appended to the report had been produced to help inform the first part of the review on Council size.  The Commission would form its view regarding Council Size for Oldham by considering the following:

·         The Governance Arrangements of the Council;

·         The Council’s Statutory Functions; and

·         The representational role of Councillors.

 

A cross departmental officer working group produced the submission and this was presented to Group Leaders.  The recommendation contained within the submission was that the Council size remains the same.

 

Individual members and groups were able to submit their own representations to the LGBCE if required.

 

Options/Alternatives

 

It was a statutory requirement for the Council to produce the information requested by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England in relation to Council Size.  If members disagree with the submission and recommendations an alternative proposal could be submitted which met the statutory criteria.

 

On being put to the vote,  43 votes were cast in FAVOUR of the MOTION and 0 votes were cast AGAINST with 8 ABSTENTIONS.  The MOTION was therefore CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED that the Council Size Submission to the Local Government Boundary Review Commission for England be approved.