Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Wednesday, 15th December, 2021 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Liz Drogan 

Items
No. Item

1.

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M Bashforth, S Bashforth, Briggs, F Hussain, Iqbal, Kenyon, Malik, Mushtaq, Sharp, Shuttleworth, Stretton and Toor.  

2.

To order that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 3rd November 2021 be signed as a correct record pdf icon PDF 533 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 3rd November 2021 be approved as a correct record.

3.

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

Minutes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Councillor Hobin declared a disclosable pecuniary interest at Item 9 Motion 1 by virtue of his employment by Stagecoach.

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:

There were no communications

6.

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

(time limit 20 minutes)

Minutes:

There were no petitions received to be noted.

7.

Youth Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

 

Mental ill-health amongst young people

Council recognises that poor, and declining, mental health has been identified by young people in the borough as one of the biggest issues they face, especially after the adverse impact upon their health caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the most recent annual Make Your Mark Ballot (a UK wide consultation of 11–18-year-olds), mental ill-health received 1,250 votes of the 8,700 cast, constituting the 2nd biggest issue of concern to young people in Oldham. This was reinforced by the findings of an online survey by the Oldham Youth Service in July 2021.

Research by the Children’s Society shows that 75% or young people with mental health problems are not getting the help they need and that 34% of those people referred to NHS services are not accepted. 

Although the budget for mental health support rose from £4.5 billion in 2016 to £10.5 billion in 2021.  As 75% of all mental health conditions manifest in young adults before the age of 24 we believe that more money needs to be invested in treating mental ill-health in young people.

Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, and to the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, to express the concerns of the young people of Oldham, and to seek an adequate share of the £79M set aside for mental health care to meet the needs of our young people. 

 

Minutes:

The Youth Council PROPOSED the following MOTION:

Mental ill-health amongst young people

Council recognises that poor, and declining, mental health has been identified by young people in the borough as one of the biggest issues they face, especially after the adverse impact upon their health caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the most recent annual Make Your Mark Ballot (a UK wide consultation of 1118-year-olds), mental ill-health received 1,250 votes of the 8,700 cast, constituting the 2nd biggest issue of concern to young people in Oldham. This was reinforced by the findings of an online survey by the Oldham Youth Service in July 2021.

Research by the Children’s Society shows that 75% or young people with mental health problems are not getting the help they need and that 34% of those people referred to NHS services are not accepted.

Although the budget for mental health support rose from £4.5 billion in 2016 to £10.5 billion in 2021. As 75% of all mental health conditions manifest in young adults before the age of 24 we believe that more money needs to be invested in treating mental ill health in young people.

Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, and to the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, to express the concerns of the young people of Oldham, and to seek an adequate share of the £79M set aside for mental health care to meet the needs of our young people.

 

Councillor Moores spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor H Gloster spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Arnott spoke on the Motion.

Councillor Shah spoke in support of the Motion.

 

Councillor Moores MOVED and Councillor H Gloster SECONDED the MOTION as presented by the Youth Council.

 

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

 

COUNCILLOR

 

COUNCILLOR

 

Abid, Sahr

ABSTAIN

Ibrahim, Nyla

FOR

Ahmad, Riaz

FOR

Iqbal, Javid

ABSENT

Akhtar, Shoab

FOR

Islam, Mohammed Nazrul

FOR

Alexander, Ginny

FOR

Jabbar, Abdul

FOR

Al-Hamdani, Sam

FOR

Kenyon, Mark

ABSENT

Ali, Mohon

FOR

Lancaster, Luke

FOR

Alyas, Mohammed

FOR

Leach, Valerie

FOR

Arnott, Dave

ABSTAIN

Malik, Abdul

ABSENT

Bashforth, Marie

ABSENT

McLaren, Colin

FOR

Bashforth, Steven

ABSENT

Moores, Eddie

FOR

Birch, Ros

FOR

Murphy, Dave

FOR

Briggs, Norman

ABSENT

Mushtaq, Shaid

ABSENT

Brownridge, Barbara

FOR

Phythian, Clint

FOR

Byrne, Pam

FOR

Phythian, Kyle

FOR

Chadderton, Amanda

FOR

Roberts, Hannah

FOR

Chauhan, Zahid

FOR

Salamat, Ali Aqeel

FOR

Cosgrove, Angela

FOR

Shah, Arooj

FOR

Curley, Jamie

FOR

Sharp, Beth

ABSENT

Davis, Peter

FOR

Sheldon, Graham

ABSTAIN

Dean, Peter

FOR

Shuttleworth, Graham

ABSENT

Garry, Elaine

FOR

Stretton, Jean

ABSENT

Gloster, Chris

FOR

Surjan, Ruji Sapna

FOR

Gloster, Hazel

FOR

Sykes MBE, Howard

FOR

Goodwin, Chris

FOR

Taylor, Elaine

FOR

Hamblett, Louie

FOR

Toor, Yasmin

ABSENT

Hindle, Neil

FOR

Wilkinson, Mark

FOR

Hobin, Brian

FOR

Williamson, Diane  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Questions Time

9.

Public Questions

(time limit 15 Minutes)

Minutes:

1.    Question received from Duncan Breeze

Why has millions been spent on Alexander Park, but many others now represent derelict wastelands included Failsworth Park. Will there be any work done to improve Failsworth park so the residents of Failsworth can exercise and take there family’s there etc?

 

Councillor Chadderton, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods responded that the millions that were spent on Alexandra park were a result of a successful lottery bid which brought in just over £2.6 million. This was not recent money and had come in between 1997 and 2004. Bids had been put forward for other park and only one of the other parks, Dunwood Park in Shaw, had received lottery funding. Investment was and continued to be made in all parks with Section 106 money earmarked for Higher Memorial Park (Failsworth Park) and, if the local housing developments went ahead, would see an investment of around £65,000 into improvements to the hard service games area and general improvements to the parks landscape. When this money was received, she would ensure that a consultation exercise took place with Ward Members and the public prior to the commitment of the funding.   

 

2.    Question received from Matthew Smith

It’s become apparent in recent months that Mr Neil Wilby (Press) has much better access to Oldham Council and specifically the leader of the council than most of the constituents in the town. I recently emailed labour councillors on a number of issues and never got a reply, however Mr Wilby seems to have a hotline directly to the leader especially. May I remind Labour councillors & the leader of the council this is the same Journalist who has tweeted a number of offensive/abusive tweets about Labour MPs including Angela Rayner. Does the leader think it’s right that 1) A member of the press has better access to the council than most of the citizens of the town and

2) How do you expect the citizens of the town to take the leader seriously when she’s speaking about bullying & harassment, when she is happy to be in communications with a journalist, thanking him on a number of occasion, when he has made a number of offensive tweets regarding your female Labour colleagues?

 

Councillor Shah, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform replied that she was glad he asked that question. She welcomed the opportunity to make the facts clear on a subject that was a matter of much online speculation. She had worked hard to improve the accessibility and transparency of the Council. She had introduced the Big Oldham Conversation, which involved holding public events across the borough, so the public could ask questions of her and the Chief Executive about the borough. A consultation had been launched on the town centre plans and ramped up engagement with local businesses. Local people could also ask questions at full Council and other meetings, and could contact their Councillors or the Council to ask questions and find out information,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Questions to Leader and Cabinet

(time limit 30 minutes)

Minutes:

Councillor Sheldon, Leader of the Conservative Group:

 

Question 1 – Music Licence Refund

 

Council will be aware that businesses and places of worship currently hold a music licence. This used to be two licences from the Performing Rights Society (PRS) and the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). This licence enables all types of businesses to play live, recorded music and music heard on a television to their customers in their place of business. The cost of these licences varies depending on the size of venue and how the music is played in the venue. I would like to bring to your attention that all businesses can apply for a credit if the venue is closed during lockdown and they are unable to play television or background music. One of my constituents has waited three months for a credit note but I thought it was important to remind the businesses in Oldham town centre and in the area in general, that a refund is available in these difficult financial times.

 

Councillor Shah, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform, replied that she was grateful Councillor Sheldon had highlighted the availability of this refund and she would meet with him afterwards to discuss how best to communicate this to businesses.

 

Question 2 – Personal Responsibility for Raising Safeguarding Concerns

 

We are all seeing on the television in the last few days with utter disbelief the tragic circumstances following the death of a little boy and a baby girl that were killed and tortured by their parents and guardians. We need to raise awareness that, if anyone has a concern, they personally need to raise that concern and call our Safeguarding Team. I know the Team at the borough has an excellent record and I would like everyone to have the number 0161 770 7777. Please do not expect others to call. If you have a concern or suspect anything untoward is happening, you need to make that call. The Safeguarding Team will then decide to take any necessary action. Council is asked to consider whether a review is necessary and whether our laws and the penalty for such horrendous and evils acts should be revisited. Finally, I need to reiterate that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and tragedies like these must not happen.

 

Councillor Shah, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform, responded that all Councillors were aware of the recent tragic cases. There had been a lot of public concern about the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements arising from these cases and that was something she completely understood. She was also aware that the government had announced two reviews in response to these highly-concerning cases - a review of both cases by the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and a joint targeted area inspection to look at the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements in Solihull. They had also appointed a Commissioner to conduct and independent review of safeguarding practice in Bradford and this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Questions on Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

20th September 2021

18th October 2021

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was requested to note the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on the undermentioned dates, 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 20th September 2021 and 18th October 2021 were

submitted.

 

Members raised the following questions:-

 

Councillor Lancaster asked the following question in relation to Cabinet 20/9/21, Item 7, p41 OPOL Interim Planning Paper

Following the different Greater Manchester-wide spatial development plans – the GMSF and now ‘Places for Everyone’ – there is understandably a great deal of mistrust amongst residents of our Borough about the Council’s willingness to stand up and protect our precious green spaces for future generations to enjoy.

Unfortunately, on our current course, this feeling of mistrust will only deepen further, with five of the present Other Protected Open Land (OPOL) sites set to be de-designated and not recommended for succession to the new Local Green Spaces (LGS) model.

Two of these sites are situated in Saddleworth, one of which at Rumbles Lane, Delph, being in my Saddleworth North ward. In both instances, the Council’s own assessment acknowledges that the land adds to our area’s attractiveness.

Can I please ask the Cabinet Member for Housing for reconsideration to be given to these sites with a view to them being designated under LGS?

I would also like to welcome the addition of a new site at Sholver Lane in the St. James’ ward, and ask as well that further efforts are invested into finding new sites across the Borough which would benefit from LGS protection.

 

Councillor Roberts, Cabinet Member for Housing responded that potentially de-designating OPOL sites and potentially designating new local green spaces was something that would be dealt with in the new local plan for Oldham. The reason for moving from a locally-set designation like OPOL to designations such as local green space was intended to reinforce the protection from development, to try and give stronger protection to those areas designated as a local green space and the criteria for this were different. In identifying which sites should be designated as local green space, the Council had put forward an initial view based on the assessment of OPOL sites against green space criteria, but no final decision had yet been made. If Members or local residents wished to put forward further evidence why any OPOL sites should be designated as local green spaces, or why any other new sires should be considered for designation, the Council was listening to those suggestions as it prepared the new local plan. Some local residents had put forward responses to the issues and options and, if any Members wished to put forward more suggestions, they should do so. Green space was referable as the land would be better protected.

 

Councillor Woodvine asked the following question in relation to Cabinet 18/10/21, Item 8, page 51 Waste collection vehicles

I  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Questions on Joint Arrangements pdf icon PDF 439 KB

(time limit 15 minutes)

 

GMCA

24th September 2021

29th October 2021

Police, Fire and Crime Panel

22nd July 2021

National Peak Park Authority

3rd September 2021

Health and Wellbeing Board

14th September 2021

Commissioning Partnership Board

29th April 2021

 

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:

 

GMCA

24th September 2021

29th October 2021

Police, Fire and Crime Panel

22nd July 2021

National Peak Park Authority

3rd September 2021

Health and Wellbeing Board

14th September 2021

Commissioning Partnership Board

29th April 2021

 

Members raised the following questions:

 

Councillor Hamblett asked the following question in relation to GMCA 165/21

Education, work and skills activity update

Point 3 records that: That the progress made to date on the European Social Fund Skills for Growth Programme be noted. Could I ask what funding has been made available to replace the European Social Fund Skills for Growth Programme since our departure from the EU?

 

Councillor Ali, Deputy Cabinet Member for Education and Skills replied that under the exit agreement, there was a continuation of existing commitments from the European Social Investment Framework until December 2023.The replacement fund was the Shared Prosperity Fund worth £2.6bn (£0.4bn in 2022-23, £0.7bn in 2023-24 and £1.5bn in 2024-25).

The Government as part of its levelling up commitent created the Shared Prosperity Fund which should have seen £3m being targeted at Oldham but locally projects managed to just access c. £0.5m. GM in total only benefited to the value of c. £4.5m from an expected £12m. The Council remained concerned that the government was not concerned in investing in Levelling up the North.

 

Councillor Al-Hamdani asked the following question in relation to GMCA 168/21 Greater Manchester Gender Based Violence Strategy

The minutes note that "it was important that Government also recognised the seismic issue and stepped up their level of support". The Law Commission recently published its recommendation to create a new crime of Public Sexual Harassment – in line with the Liberal Democrat motion agreed universally by this Council – but declined to recommend making misogyny a hate crime. Does the member responsible feel that this is going far enough? Would they agree with me that it is important that the Government sends out a stronger message against misogyny, and that more work needs to be done with a view to adopting misogyny as a hate crime?

 

Councillor Shah, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform responded that this was an easy question to answer because yes, she absolutely believed that misogyny should be a hate crime, and unlike our Prime Minister, she believed that the scale of the issue was more of a reason to address it.

In Oldham we recognised and understood the harmful impact of misogyny and there was a wealth of ongoing work to raise awareness and respond.

We supported the introduction of any legislation which held perpetrators to account for their targeted behaviour toward people on the basis of protected characteristics, and which recognised aggravating factors that needed to be considered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Notice of Administration Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

Councillor Hulme to MOVE and Councillor Briggs to SECOND:

Levelling down transport in Greater Manchester

This Council notes:

1.    The recently published Integrated Rail Plan (IRP)scales back the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) project to such an extent it has effectively been scrapped. The lack of a dedicated highspeed line between Liverpool and Leeds will impact the service at Greenfield and other towns and villages on the Huddersfield Line. The lack of any funding for electrification on the Rochdale line reduces capacity and reliability.

2.    That the promise of an underground station at Manchester Piccadilly has been scrapped by the Government, potentially cutting billions from the local economy. This also raises concerns about the route of the new line running from Manchester to Marsden and how it may impact Oldham.

3.    The difference in transport costs between London and Greater Manchester. In London, someone can make as many bus journeys as they like in an hour for only £1.55 whereas a single bus journey in Oldham can cost at least double that.

4.    The excellent work of Mayor Andy Burnham in taking back control of our buses in Greater Manchester. The Government has shown support for The Mayor’s vision for travel in Greater Manchester with a £1bn package, however this does not make up for the billions now cut from transport in GM in the IRP.

This Council believes that the Government has reneged on its pledge to level up the economies of the north and the south: the difference in transport investment between London and the North is stark. Figures from the IPPR  show the North has an £86bn deficit in Treasury transport spending  compared to London. The North has received just £349 per person in transport spending since 2009/10 compared with £864 in London. The IPPR has also stated that to meet the challenge of the climate crisis, an extra £12bn a year must be invested. The Government promised repeatedly that they would build NPR and HS2 in full. This promise has been broken and the people of the north betrayed.

 

This Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to

  1. Mayor Andy Burnham supporting his efforts to secure the future of Northern Powerhouse Rail and the additional investment needed to provide a modern, efficient and integrated public transport system in Greater Manchester
  2. Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps demanding that the Government revisits the IRP to ensure that Oldham ,  Greater Manchester and the North West receive a fair share in transport spending in comparison to London and that  key projects such as the underground station at Manchester Piccadilly, HS2 and rail electrification are reinstated.

 

Motion 2

Councillor Moores to MOVE and Councillor Mushtaq to SECOND:

Supporting Oldham’s children with SEND

This Council acknowledges the incredible work done by teachers, parents, and carers in supporting and nurturing children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

SEND comes in many forms, early identification and intervention are vital in ensuring we deliver  ...  view the full agenda text for item 13.

Minutes:

Motion 1

Councillor Hulme MOVED and Councillor Chadderton SECONDED the following MOTION:

 

Motion 1 - Levelling down transport in Greater Manchester

 

This Council notes:

1.            The recently published Integrated Rail Plan (IRP)scales back the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) project to such an extent it has effectively been scrapped. The lack of a dedicated highspeed line between Liverpool and Leeds will impact the service at Greenfield and other towns and villages on the Huddersfield Line. The lack of any funding for electrification on the Rochdale line reduces capacity and reliability.

2.            That the promise of an underground station at Manchester Piccadilly has been scrapped by the Government, potentially cutting billions from the local economy. This also raises concerns about the route of the new line running from Manchester to Marsden and how it may impact Oldham.

3.            The difference in transport costs between London and Greater Manchester. In London, someone can make as many bus journeys as they like in an hour for only £1.55 whereas a single bus journey in Oldham can cost at least double that.

4.            The excellent work of Mayor Andy Burnham in taking back control of our buses in Greater Manchester. The Government has shown support for The Mayor’s vision for travel in Greater Manchester with a £1bn package, however this does not make up for the billions now cut from transport in GM in the IRP.

This Council believes that the Government has reneged on its pledge to level up the economies of the north and the south: the difference in transport investment between London and the North is stark. Figures from the IPPR  show the North has an £86bn deficit in Treasury transport spending  compared to London. The North has received just £349 per person in transport spending since 2009/10 compared with £864 in London. The IPPR has also stated that to meet the challenge of the climate crisis, an extra £12bn a year must be invested. The Government promised repeatedly that they would build NPR and HS2 in full. This promise has been broken and the people of the north betrayed.

This Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to

1.            Mayor Andy Burnham supporting his efforts to secure the future of Northern Powerhouse Rail and the additional investment needed to provide a modern, efficient and integrated public transport system in Greater Manchester

2.            Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps demanding that the Government revisits the IRP to ensure that Oldham, Greater Manchester and the North West receive a fair share in transport spending in comparison to London and that key projects such as the underground station at Manchester Piccadilly, HS2 and rail electrification are reinstated.

 

AMENDMENT

 

Councillor Hindle MOVED and Councillor Wilkinson SECONDED the following AMENDMENT:

 

Motion 1 – Note 4 

To remove first sentence of above Note 4 “The Council notes the excellent work of Mayor Andy Burnham, in taking back control of our buses in Greater Manchester”.

 

The amended motion to read:

 

This Council notes:

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

14.

Notice of Opposition Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

Motion 1

Councillor Arnott to MOVE and Councillor Lancaster to SECOND:

Oldham’s Roads Are Not Racetracks For Criminals.

 In 2020, close to 680m vehicle miles were travelled in Oldham. Given the sheer number of vehicle miles travelled, it is sadly inevitable that collisions and accidents will occur, even when drivers are law abiding and drive considerately. 

On average 681 people are killed or seriously injured on the roads of Greater Manchester each year. Of all reported collisions, 58% involved a driver aged between 17 and 35 and a staggering 80% of all fatal incidents involved a male driver.  

However, there is a dangerous group, of mostly young men and women, who consider the roads of Oldham as their own personal racetrack, and routinely and recklessly speed on our roads with no regard for the safety of themselves or others, putting other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians in real danger of serious injury or worse.

A number of these vehicles are not taxed or insured and have been modified to increase speed and performance at the expense of safety and security. Speed cameras are sadly not enough as, our roads have become the plaything of these people with some using stolen vehicles and plates to race each other and then abandon those same vehicles also. Several vehicles are used in crimes such as burglaries, carjacking’s, transportation of narcotics, get away driving, prostitution, and illegal street racing.

 

This Council resolves : 

  • That the Chief Executive of Oldham Council, on behalf of the people of this Borough, write to the Division Commander of Oldham and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to demand that they take these vehicles off the road and target these groups of “boy racers” who consciously and deliberately set out to drive at speed, with reckless abandon putting the lives of others at risk.
  • That the Council work with and give full use and access to GMP of cameras, buildings, and offices in implementing a crackdown.
  • That Oldham Council share its records with GMP on reports of incidents which residents have reported and look to build a database which they can then target criminals with.
  • That the Chief Executive of Oldham Council recommend that GMP should look to seize and crush vehicles that partake in these dangerous acts of driving as well as cash fines and points on their licence.
  • That the Chief Executive of Oldham Council recommend that GMP look to deploy a team to patrol some of the worst highways from the evening to the early hours of the morning when many of these crimes take place.
  • That Oldham Council takes a zero-tolerance approach to all crimes that involve narcotics and will support GMP in their efforts to test and arrest those driving whilst under the influence of narcotics.

 

 

 

Motion 2

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

Time for the Fair Game manifesto in football

Council believes that football, the national game in the UK, is currently in crisis.

COVID-19 has devastated  ...  view the full agenda text for item 14.

Minutes:

Motion 1

Councillor Arnott MOVED and Councillor Lancaster SECONDED the

following MOTION:

 

Motion 1 - Oldhams Roads Are Not Racetracks For Criminals.

 

In 2020, close to 680m vehicle miles were travelled in Oldham. Given the sheer number of vehicle miles travelled, it is sadly inevitable that collisions and accidents will occur, even when drivers are law abiding and drive considerately.

On average 681 people are killed or seriously injured on the roads of Greater Manchester each year. Of all reported collisions, 58% involved a driver aged between 17 and 35 and a staggering 80% of all fatal incidents involved a male driver.

 However, there is a dangerous group, of mostly young men and women, who consider the roads of Oldham as their own personal racetrack, and routinely and recklessly speed on our roads with no regard for the safety of themselves or others, putting other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians in real danger of serious injury or worse.

A number of these vehicles are not taxed or insured and have been modified to increase speed and performance at the expense of safety and security. Speed cameras are sadly not enough as, our roads have become the plaything of these people with some using stolen vehicles and plates to race each other and then abandon those same vehicles also. Several vehicles are used in crimes such as burglaries, carjacking’s, transportation of narcotics, get away driving, prostitution, and illegal street racing.

 This Council resolves :

·                     That the Chief Executive of Oldham Council, on behalf of the people of this Borough, write to the Division Commander of Oldham and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to demand that they take these vehicles off the road and target these groups of “boy racers” who consciously and deliberately set out to drive at speed, with reckless abandon putting the lives of others at risk.

·                     That the Council work with and give full use and access to GMP of cameras, buildings, and offices in implementing a crackdown.

·                     That Oldham Council share its records with GMP on reports of incidents which residents have reported and look to build a database which they can then target criminals with.

·                     That the Chief Executive of Oldham Council recommend that GMP should look to seize and crush vehicles that partake in these dangerous acts of driving as well as cash fines and points on their licence.

·                     That the Chief Executive of Oldham Council recommend that GMP look to deploy a team to patrol some of the worst highways from the evening to the early hours of the morning when many of these crimes take place.

·                     That Oldham Council takes a zero-tolerance approach to all crimes that involve narcotics and will support GMP in their efforts to test and arrest those driving whilst under the influence of narcotics.

 

AMENDMENT

 

Councillor Chadderton MOVED and Councillor Williams SECONDED the following AMENDMENT:

 

Delete Paragraph 3 and insert:

We acknowledge that the majority of Oldham residents are responsible drivers, who do not as a matter of course, drive in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Covid 19 Update pdf icon PDF 255 KB

Report to follow.

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Chauhan 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.

 

In moving the report, Councillor Shah thanked local health and Council staff and the voluntary sector who would be doing their utmost to meet the government’s vaccine promises at the time they most needed a break. There would be over 400,000 NHS workers and the Council’s Social Care workers who would be working through Christmas, and the work of the community and voluntary sectors had to be acknowledged, all of whom would not be spending Christmas the way they would have expected.

 

Members noted that COVID-19 was still circulating across the UK and there continued to be new cases in Oldham every day. The report summarised activity, demonstrating how the spread of COVID-19 across communities would be collectively managed and prevented.

 

In the winter months, there were multiple risks ahead associated with COVID-19, its direct and indirect impact on people and services, as well as the impacts of other winter pressures. Whilst many aspects of life had begun to see a return to pre-pandemic times, the transmission and impact of COVID-19 still required careful management, and if rates continued to rise, further measures to mitigate the impact on individuals, society and economy might be required.

 

On 26th November 2021 the World Health Organisation designated the Covid variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, named Omicron. First identified in South Africa, Omicron had been identified in several other countries, including the UK. Work was ongoing to understand the virulence of the new variant, its transmissibility and how effective the vaccines were at combatting it.

 

The Government has reintroduced various measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in England. These measures included:

·         Compulsory face coverings on public transport and in shops

·         Pupils strongly advised to wear face coverings in communal areas in secondary schools

·         Contacts of suspected Omicron cases to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of age or vaccination status

·         Travelers to the UK to take PCR or lateral flow tests prior to departure, and to take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival in the UK, isolating until they had a negative result.

Members were informed that there was still considerable uncertainty about the future course of the pandemic, funding and government policy. In this context the local response needed to remain agile. Given Oldham’s experience of COVID-19 to date the response was well established and wide in scope and as such was well placed to be able to adapt as needed.

As of 27th November 2021, there had been 44,813 cases of COVID-19 identified in Oldham; the weekly infection rates were currently running at around 308 cases per 100,000 people. This remained the lowest in Greater Manchester and lower than the England rate of 434 per 100,000.

Increasing vaccination uptake remained the primary focus of the local response. Over 162,000 Oldham residents had received their first doses (74.7% of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Update on Actions from Council pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED a report of the Director of Legal Services, which informed members of actions taken following the meeting of the Council on 3rd November 2021.

 

RESOLVED that the actions regarding motions and issues from the meeting of the Council on 3rd November 2021 be noted.

17.

Public Speaking at Traffic Regulation Order Panel pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED a report of the Director of Legal Services, which sought the introduction of a formal procedure for public speaking at meetings of the Traffic Regulation Order Panel.

 

Members were informed that, under the Council’s Constitution, the Traffic Regulation Order Panel was responsible for considering any representations made in respect of a proposed traffic regulation order and deciding whether or not to make the order and determining proposed public spaces protection orders. Unlike the position with planning applications being considered by the Planning Committee, there was currently no formal procedure for permitting public speaking at meetings of the Traffic Regulation Order Panel.

 

To ensure consistency with the Planning Committee procedures and to enhance public participation in decision making it was recommended that a formal procedure to allow public speaking at meetings of the Traffic Regulation Order Panel be introduced. The proposed procedure was included at Appendix 1 to the report and was based on the protocol for public speaking at meetings of the Planning Committee. The procedure would allow speaking by one supporter and one objector who had made representations. As with the procedure at Planning Committee, the public would be restricted to 3 minutes to make representations. Ward Members would also be permitted to

speak for up to 5 minutes.

 

RESOLVED that the procedure for public speaking at meetings of the Traffic Regulation Order Panel detailed in Appendix 1 be adopted and be included in the procedure in Part 8 Appendix 3 of the Constitution.

 

 

18.

2020/21 Annual Statement of Accounts pdf icon PDF 386 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Jabbar MOVED and Councillor Shah SECONDED a report of the Director of Finance which advised Council of the recently approved 2020/21 audited Statement of Accounts and the External Auditor (Mazars LLP) Audit Completion Report (ACR).

 

Members were informed that OldhamCouncil was among the 9% of Councils that had complete their accounts for last year by the statutory dealine and thanks were offered to all concerned.

 

The report presented the Council’s Statement of Accounts for the financial year 2020/21 as considered by the Audit Committee on 29 July 20201. Delegated authority was given to the Vice Chair of the Audit Committee after consultation with Director of Finance to approve the accounts, pending the completion of the outstanding work on the Council’s group accounts, IT audit and the receipt, by the External Auditor, of assurances with regard to the audit of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF).

 

The accounts were subsequently approved on 30 September 2021 within the statutory deadline. There were no changes to the Statement of Accounts presented and accepted at the Audit Committee on 29 July 2020.

 

The report highlighted:

·         The overall revenue outturn position for 2020/21 was a surplus of £2.153m;

·         The year-end variances that were attributable to each Portfolio;

·         The level of grants received in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic;

·         Schools balances at 31 March 2021 were £9.306m

·         The Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) deficit was £3.560m which is now held in an unusable reserve rather than being netted off the Schools balances (as presented in the accounts in previous years);

·         The final Housing Revenue Account (HRA) balance was £21.370m;

·         The balance on the Collection Fund was a deficit of £27.213m;

·         The revenue account earmarked reserves at £113.512m, other earmarked reserves at £29.452m (Revenue Grant Reserves of £20.145m plus School Balances as above) and an increase in the General Fund balance of £2.153m to £17.263m, reflective of the revenue outturn position;

·         Expenditure on the Council’s Capital Programme for 2020/21 was £73.227m which is an increase on the month 9 forecast expenditure of £71.012m. The increase in expenditure required funding allocated to future years to be re-profiled to fully finance the Capital Programme in 2020/21;

·         The significant items in each of the primary financial statements;

·         The preparation of Group Accounts incorporating the Councils two wholly owned companies the Unity Partnership Ltd. and MioCare Community Interest Company;

·         The Annual Governance Statement;

·         The performance of the Finance Team in closing the accounts

 

The presentation of the audited Statement of Accounts provided Council Members with the opportunity to review the Council’s year-end financial position (following completion of the audit by the Council’s External Auditors, Mazars LLP).

 

RESOLVED that:

1.    The Council’s final accounts position for 2020/21, the audited Statement of Accounts, the draft Audit Completion Report and subsequent letter entitled Completion of Pending Matters – Audit Completion Report be noted.

2.    It be noted that the audit of the accounts for 2020/21 by the External Auditors Mazars LLP could only be finalised once the Value for Money (VFM) opinion was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Procurement of the Council’s External Auditors 2023/24 to 2027/28 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Jabbar MOVED and Councillor Shah SECONDED a report of the Director of Finance which set out proposals for appointing the external auditor to the Council for the accounts for the five-year period from 2023/24.

 

Council was informed that the current auditor appointment arrangements covered the period up to and including the audit of the 2022/23 accounts. The Council, as with the vast majority of other Council’s, had opted into the ‘appointing person’ national auditor appointment arrangements which were established by Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) for the period covering the accounts for 2018/19 to 2022/23.

 

PSAA was undertaking a procurement exercise for the next appointing period, covering audits for the 2023/24 to 2027/28 financial years. During Autumn 2021 all Local Government bodies needed to make important decisions about their external audit arrangements from 2023/24. The other options for the procurement were to arrange their own procurement and make the appointment themselves or, in conjunction with other bodies, they could join and take advantage of the national collective scheme administered by PSAA.

 

The report concluded that the sector-wide procurement conducted by PSAA was the best option for the Council because:

·         collective procurement reduced costs for those submitting bids and for individual authorities compared to a multiplicity of smaller local procurements;

·         if the Council did not use the national appointment arrangements, the Council would need to establish its own auditor panel with an independent chair and independent members to oversee a local auditor procurement exercise and ongoing management of the audit contract;

·         it was the best opportunity to secure the appointment of a qualified, registered auditor - there are only nine accredited local audit firms, and should the Council undertake its own procurement exercise, the Council would be drawing from the same limited supply of auditor resources as PSAA’s national procurement, and;

·         supporting the sector-led body helped to ensure there was a continuing and sustainable public audit market into the medium and long term.

 

Members noted that, if the Council wished to take advantage of the national auditor appointment arrangements, it was required, under the Local Audit Regulations, to make the decision at full Council. The opt-in period started on 22 September 2021 and closed on 11 March 2022. To opt into the national

scheme from 2023/24, the Council needed to return completed opt-in documents to PSAA by 11 March 2022.

 

RESOLVED that the PSAA invitation to opt into the sector-led option for the

appointment of external auditors to principal Local Government and Police Bodies for five financial years from 1 April 2023 be accepted.

20.

Municipal Calendar 2022-2023 pdf icon PDF 411 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shah MOVED and Councillor Sykes SECONDED a report of the Director of Legal Services which sought approval of the draft Calendar of Meetings for the 2022/2023 Municipal Year.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.   The Council’s Calendar of Meetings for the Municipal Year 2022/23 as set out in Appendix 1 of the report be approved.

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

 

21.

Council Gambling policy review pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Chadderton MOVED and Councillor Shah SECONDED a report of the Director of Environmental Services which updated Members on the recent review of the Council’s Gambling Policy and sought approval of a revised policy to take effect from 1st January 2022.

 

Members were informed that the Council, acting in its a position as Licensing Authority, had a statutory duty to uphold the licensing objectives within the Gambling Act 2005. In setting its local policy the Council must show how it would seek to promote the licensing objectives under the Act which were:

·         Preventing gambling from being a source of crime and disorder, being

associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime;

·         Ensuring gambling is conducted in a fair and open way; and

·         Protecting children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or

exploited by gambling.

 

RESOLVED that the proposed Gambling Policy be approved.

22.

Treasury Management Mid Year Review Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 840 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Jabbar MOVED and Councillor Shah SECONDED a report of the Director of Finance which advised on the performance of the Treasury Management Function of the Council for the first half of 2021/22 and provided a comparison of performance against the 202`/22 Treasury Management Strategy and Prudential Indicators.

 

Members noted that the Council was required to consider the performance of the Treasury Management function in order to comply with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) Code of Practice on Treasury Management (revised 2017). The report set out the key Treasury Management issues for Members’ information and review and outlined:

·         An economic update for the first six months of 2021/22;

·         A review of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy;

·         The Council’s capital expenditure, as set out in the Capital Strategy, and prudential indicators;

·         A review of the Council’s investment portfolio for 2021/22;

·         A review of the Council’s borrowing strategy for 2021/22;

·         Why there had been no debt rescheduling undertaken during 2021/22; and

·         A review of compliance with Treasury and Prudential Limits for 2021/22.

 

A version of the report was presented to the Audit Committee on 2 November 2021 to enable it to have the opportunity to review and scrutinise the 2021/22 Treasury Management Mid-Year Review report prior to its presentation to Cabinet. The Committee was content to commend the report to Cabinet. The report was considered by Cabinet at its meeting of 15 November 2021. Cabinet was content to commend the report to Council.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.    The Treasury Management activity for the first half of the financial year 2021/22 and the projected outturn position be approved.

2.    The Amendments to both Authorised Limit and Operational Boundary for external debt as set out in the table at Section 2.4.5 of the report be approved.

3.    The Amendments to the Capital Financing Requirement (CFR) as set out in the table at Section 2.4.5 be approved.

 

23.

Adoption of the Public Health Act 1925 Concerning Naming of Streets pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Minutes:

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

 

During a review of the Council’s policy on street naming and it had been

identified that no record of the adoption of sections 17 and 19 of the Public Health Act 1925 had been retained by the Council. For the avoidance of doubt and to provide greater flexibility to the process of naming of streets it was requested that the Council approve the adoption of sections 17 and 19 of the Public Health Act 1925 for the whole Borough. The updated street naming policy would then be submitted to the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods for approval.

 

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

 

RESOLVED that the process for adopting sections 17 and 19 of the Public Health Act 1925 relating to the naming of streets within the Borough be commenced and that a further report to adopt the sections be submitted to the next Council meeting after public notice had been given in accordance with Schedule 14 of the Local Government Act 1972.