Venue: Council Chamber, Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford
Contact: Ian Cockill Governance Officer
To approve as a correct record for signature by the Mayor as Chair of the Council, the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 23 November 2022
To receive any announcements from the Mayor, Leader of the Council, Members of the Executive, Chairs of Scrutiny Committees and the Head of Paid Service.
This is an opportunity for Members of Council to ask the Mayor, Members of the Executive or the Chairs of any Committee or Sub-Committee a question on notice under Procedure Rule 10.2.
Petition - Save Altrincham Town Hall
To consider the following petition requiring debate:
We the undersigned petition the Council to abandon its intention to dispose of Altrincham Town Hall unless it is to a community-based organisation as was done with Stretford Public Hall and the George Carnall Leisure Centre in Urmston.
Altrincham Town Hall is a beautiful building, both inside and out, and it has served the local community well for the past 120 years. It must continue to function that way and we implore the Council to ensure this happens.
Why is this so important? The Town Hall is a key component of Altrincham’s heritage and it is now the only true community space left in the town centre offering affordable facilities for meetings, events and other activities. It is used by many community groups and its impressive Council Chamber is a perfect and increasingly popular location for weddings.
It must not become one of those “you only miss it once it’s gone” items. Timperley has already lost its library, and the Jubilee Centre in Bowdon is scheduled to be next. Hale, Broadheath and Hale Barns have only very limited meeting facilities and the loss of Altrincham Town Hall would thus leave the area of south Trafford with virtually no available community space at all.
Note: In accordance with the Council’s Petition Scheme, a petition containing more than 500 signatures will be debated by the Council. The petition organiser will be given five minutes to present the petition and then it will be discussed by the Council for a maximum of 15 minutes.
To consider a report of the Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing and Equalities.
To consider the following motions submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 11:
Motion Submitted by the Liberal Democrats Group - Improving Public Safety with later-running Trams
This Council notes that:
- Trafford residents, either working in the hospitality sector or enjoying the night-time economy, face a curfew for the tram, expensive taxis, or a risky walk home in the dark.
- Tackling both Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and gender-based violence more widely are priorities for Greater Manchester Police across the city region.
- Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has announced his ambition to make the city’s tram network the “11th district” for policing.
- This means that a late-night tram service across Greater Manchester is increasingly becoming the best transport option to ensure thousands of people across the region can get home safely in the evenings and after dark.
Regarding the viability of such a service, this Council further notes that:
- Since November 2021 London's "night tube" continues to be successful and has surpassed fears that it would have limited customers. The service runs at an off peak cost.
- Concerns that there won’t be enough passengers can be assuaged by looking to the success of the later running Airport Line which is much used as the “last tram” home for many. An expansion to existing services would not mean less use and many passengers could use a day ticket which runs for the whole service.
- Metrolink has seen a growth and return to pre-pandemic levels of service users on the Greater Manchester tram network.
- The population of Greater Manchester is projected to rapidly increase in the coming years as more and more people move to our city. Here in Trafford we will see additional population increase around projects such as ‘Trafford Waters’ which will have a higher percentage of public transport users.
- We must have the responsibility and foresight to put into practice safe and accessible public transport links.
This Council resolves to:
- Ask Transport for Greater Manchester to run a 3 month trial of the night tram on the Altrincham to Bury service, and to monitor its success.
- If a trial is granted, to work in close partnership with British Transport Police to ensure that resourcing is in place to keep a late night service safe for all users, with an emphasis to preventing gender based violence.
- Ask the Leader to write to the Mayor of Greater Manchester calling for his support.
Motion Submitted by the Labour Group - Fairer Funding for Trafford
This Council notes the sustained pressure on local authority finances across the country. Local authorities have borne the brunt of budget cuts over and above those made to other government departments since 2010. This year in particular the Council faces an enormous budget challenge with the cost of living crisis and other factors meaning that the Council’s budget gap for 2023/25 has increased to more than £27 million.
Trafford’s funding challenge is made more difficult each year by an outdated funding formula that leads to the Council receiving one of the worst funding settlements in the country. Indeed, were Trafford to be funded at even 90% of the national average for local authorities, the Council would benefit from additional funding of some £5.7 million per annum.
Council notes and welcomes the work undertaken recently by the Executive and Council to campaign for a fairer funding settlement for Trafford. To this end Council affirms our commitment to support the aims of the F20 campaign, a cross-party group of councils seeking to remedy this longstanding funding inequity; and resolves to ask the Leader to write to the Prime Minister calling for an immediate review of this funding formula noting that the detrimental impact this outdated mechanism is having is placing services in Trafford at risk.
Motion Submitted by the Labour Group - Public Health Funding and Preventative Disease
This Council notes that:
- Preventable disease continues to have a massive impact on the public’s health, the NHS and the economy.
- Tobacco is the biggest cause of cancer and premature death in the UK.
- Decades of comprehensive policy action have meant adult smoking prevalence in the UK in 2019 was at a record low at 14.1%, but this masks significant inequality.
- Differences in smoking rates make it one of the leading drivers of health inequalities, responsible for half the difference in life expectancy between the lowest and highest income groups in England.
- Smoking is estimated by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) to cost society £17 billion annually for England, £2.4 billion of which falls to the NHS.
- That through their public health duties, local authorities are responsible for improving the health of their population and do this through services such as stop smoking services and wider tobacco control activities.
- Believes that local government must be adequately resourced to fulfil their public health duties.
- Supports Cancer Research UK’s calls for a Smokefree Fund (a fixed annual charge on the tobacco industry, making the tobacco industry pay for the damage their products cause, without being able to influence how the funds are spent) to fund local tobacco control work, and urges the UK Government to consider implementing a Smokefree Fund as part of its efforts to reach the Smokefree 2030 target and tackle health inequalities.
Motion Submitted by the Green Party Group - A Parking Policy to Work for Clean Air and on the Climate Crisis
This Council notes:
Parking policy has the potential to be one of most effective tools councils can use to reduce car dependency and promote road safety. Trafford Council can free up space, create an attractive public realm and work towards our Climate Emergency and Vision Zero ambitions. The time for this has never been so urgent. UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, told world leaders at the opening of Cop 27: “We are in the fight of our lives and we are losing. Our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible.” This Council can use its parking controls to incentivise and enable a shift towards more sustainable transport that will benefit all road users. This must also be fair and not disproportionately affect the less well off in the borough.
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Parking Policy Benchmark Tool suggests a range of practical measures by which parking policy can be utilised to support its vision and principles. This Council notes that many of these measures are already being actively implemented by councils around the UK and recommends that there should scrutiny of these measures to assess their viability for adoption in Trafford.
This Council believes:
The CPRE Parking Policy Benchmark Tool 2022 offers a template which this Council could use to reset its own parking controls. This Council should share its vision and principles:
- Recognition of the need to reduce car use and ownership, and the role parking policy plays in this.
- Recognition of the role parking policy plays in improving air quality and public health.
- Recognition of the role parking policy plays in creating safe and attractive streets.
- Recognition of the role parking policy plays in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- A pledge to make parking policy fair for all residents, not just car owners.
- A hierarchy of kerbside use that places Blue Badge holders and sustainable uses above car parking.
This Council resolves to:
- Instruct Scrutiny to set up a Task and Finish Group to assess Trafford Council’s parking controls that reports with recommendations to the Executive by no later than the end of January 2024.
- Contact the CPRE to notify them of this work and invite them to advise the Task and Finish work.
- Create a list of borough-wide schemes that could benefit from extra parking revenue funding that meet our Vision Zero ambition.
- Write to Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner, to inform her that we are undertaking this work and that it relates to our Vision Zero ambition.
Motion Submitted by the Conservative Group - Youth Council for Climate Change
Egypt COP27 was just finished last week (November 2022). If there is one thing we learnt, that is that fact that “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator”, said by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The year of 2022 is unforgettable, not only because of the energy security, but also because of the UK’s first ever red heat warning in July. This was followed by drought across much of England at the same period as flood alerts were issued as the heatwave broke up with thunderstorms and torrential rain in Aug.
Trafford Council declared the “Climate Emergency” in Nov 2018. It is now the Council’s duty to cut emissions, increase biodiversity, protect our communities and adapt services to minimise the impact of climate change, adapt waste collections, protect more vulnerable including those receiving adult social care, women, children and young people.
What we have found is that young people have been underrepresented and their voices are largely missed in Trafford. Young people are more vulnerable to climate emergency than older adults who have better paid work, more qualifications and capital, and stronger networks. The ramifications include increasing anxiety about climate related disruption, food poverty and energy poverty.
Furthermore, we also found that young people can be powerful motivational speakers, but they are often tokenistic and continue to be excluded from decision making. That’s why we are calling on the Council to work urgently with families, schools and communities to deliver a fresh approach to ensure young people’s voice can be heard by creating a Youth Council for Climate Change by the end of March 2023 where young people can speak up about the issues that affect them and for adults to listen and take their views seriously.
All children have the right to live in a safe and clean environment, and we know that the climate crisis is an issue children and young people are passionate about. Meanwhile, we also know that youth leadership is a largely untapped resource for climate actions. When genuine youth leadership happens, it can mobilise communities at speed and at scale. That’s why we believe it is vital for them to have a platform, and one where we can engage with them, to understand their needs on climate actions and work with young people together and in a meaningful way on this profound challenge.
Motion Submitted by the Conservative Group - Community Engagement in Trafford
This Council notes that:
- Neighbourhood Forums previously took place in each Trafford Locality. Neighbourhood Forums met on an ad-hoc basis and were convened for specific topics. They have also been used as a consultation vehicle, for example as part of the budget consultation.
- Through Locality Working, Locality Partnerships were introduced which partly took on the role of the Neighbourhood Forums. Locality Partnerships were a group of local citizens, community groups, councillors, and staff who worked in organisations such as the Council, Police, leisure, housing and health, who came together to share information and ideas, build relationships and create change. The Locality Partnerships are no longer meeting, nor undertaking any of the functions that they were established for.
- Community engagement at the Council is currently primarily undertaken by the Community Engagement Team, established under Covid-19 and is funded until March 2023, with discussions taking place regarding how to secure the future of the Team. The Inclusive Economy and Communities Team also undertake some community engagement but there is no scope within that Team to establish Neighbourhood Forums.
- The Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Strategic Partnerships has responsibility for promoting a neighbourhood and area focus across the Council and the Borough and for ensuring appropriate consultation with partners and the community on matters within the portfolio.
- The ruling Labour Group 2018 manifesto on page 5 promised that “We will hold quarterly public meetings with the Council Executive at which members of the public can attend and ask questions and continue to explore better communication channels with the public.” Those meetings do not appear to be taking place currently.
- The 2021 Trafford Labour manifesto on page 16 stated regarding the Climate Emergency that “…the Labour Group commits to convening a Trafford Citizen’s Assembly in this calendar year to involve and engage residents in the decisions we need to take to move forward with our green agenda.” A motion was passed at the December 2020 Council meeting and part of the resolution was “…to convene a Citizen’s Assembly within 12 months to inform decision making in this area and increase resident engagement and involvement in the fight against climate change.” It was announced at the October 2022 Council meeting that the Citizen’s Assembly will not be progressed, however.
This Council believes that:
- Neighbourhood Forums can provide an opportunity for citizens to speak face-to-face with councillors and council officers. They can also provide an opportunity for citizens to be consulted in their local communities on new policy proposals.
- With the end of the Covid-19 lockdowns, direct engagement between citizens and the council can and should take place on a more formalised basis as in the past.
This Council resolves:
That the Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Strategic Partnerships brings a report to Executive, no later than the March 2023 Executive meeting, which sets out the options for engaging directly with citizens through a Neighbourhood Forum approach.