Venue: Council Chamber, Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford
Contact: Ian Cockill Governance Officer
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 19 July 2023, for signature by the Mayor as Chair of the Council.
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.
Membership of the Council, Committees and Outside Bodies
To note that :
(a) Councillor New resigned her position as a Member of the Council, with effect from 20 September 2023.
(b) Councillor Frances Cosby was elected as a Member of the Council following the Poll held on 2 November 2023 for the Bucklow St. Martins Ward and will hold office until 2027.
(c) Councillor G. Carter replaced Cllr K. Procter on Licensing Committee for the period 8 August 2023 to 17 August 2023.
(d) Councillor Patel was appointed to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority Employment Skills and Work Executive Member Forum and Councillor Ged Carter appointed as the substitute Member with effect from 16 October 2023 and 8 November 2023, respectively.
Petition - Pedestrian Crossing on Park Road, Timperley
To consider the following petition requiring debate:
We the undersigned (615 signatories) petition the Council to provide a pedestrian crossing on Park Road, Timperley in the vicinity of Heyes Lane and Stoney Bridge Lane junction.
Many people cross Park Road, Timperley near to the junction of Heyes Lane to access Stoney Bridge Lane. In particular it is used by many school children walking to Wellington School. It is also used as foot access to other schools, tennis club, allotments, dog walking and a route to Timperley village. There have been several accidents at this junction including a recent accident where a child was hit by a car. It can take several minutes to wait for a safe opportunity to cross plus there is a blind spot to pedestrians when crossing at the bottom of Stoney Bridge Lane making it very difficult for pedestrians to cross safely.
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 Executive Memberfor Communities and Safety following a recommendation by the Executive on 18 September 2023.
To consider a report of the Executive Member for Communities and Safety and recommendations expected to be recommended to the Council by the Executive on 15 November 2023.
To consider a report of the Director of Legal and Governance and the Monitoring Officer.
To consider the following motions submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 11:
Motion Submitted by the Green Party Group (Deferred from Council 19 July 2023) - Support the Climate and Ecology Bill
Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt in the UK, and around the world. The global temperature has already increased by 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels and—alongside this—the natural world has reached crisis point, with 28% of plants and animals threatened with extinction. In fact, the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world as more than one in seven of our plants and animals face extinction, and more than 40% are in decline.
Climate change remains a major concern for voters with 66% of people (according to YouGov) expressing they are ‘worried about climate change and its effects’. Alongside this, the popularity of Sir David Attenborough’s Save Our Wild Isles initiative demonstrates public concern that UK wildlife is being destroyed at terrifying speed.
Climate and Ecology Bill
The Climate and Ecology Bill, a private member’s bill currently before the House of Commons, seeks to address the challenges that this situation poses by creating a whole-of-government approach to deliver a net zero and nature positive future.
Based on the latest science, the Bill aims to align current UK environmental policy with the need to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, which was a goal agreed to at COP15, via the Kunming-Montreal Framework (22 December 2022); and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with a fair share of the remaining global carbon budget to give the strongest chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C, which was the goal agreed to at COP21, via the Paris Agreement (12 December 2015).
By bridging the gap between the UK Government’s current delivery, and what has been agreed at international levels, Britain has a chance to be a world leader on the environment; seizing the opportunities of the clean energy transition, including green jobs and reduced energy bills; and boosting the UK’s food and energy security.
Trafford Council notes that:
The Climate and Ecology Bill, which has been introduced in the UK Parliament on four occasions since 2020, including most recently in the House of Commons 10 May 2023. The Bill is backed by 168 cross-party MPs and Peers and 237 local authorities, alongside the support of eminent scientists, such as Sir David King; environmental non-governmental organizations, such as The Wildlife Trusts and CPRE; businesses, such as The Co-operative Bank; and 30,000 members of the public.
The Bill would require the UK Government to develop and deliver a new environmental strategy, which would include:
1. Delivering a joined-up environmental plan, as the crises in climate and nature are deeply intertwined, requiring a plan that considers both together;
2. Reducing emissions in line with 1.5°C, ensure emissions are reduced rapidly, for the best chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C;
3. Not only halting, but also reversing the decline in nature, setting nature measurably on the path to recovery by 2030;
4. Taking responsibility for our overseas footprint, both emissions and ecological;
5. Prioritising nature in decision-making, and ending fossil fuel production and imports as rapidly ... view the full agenda text for item 9a
Motion Submitted by the Liberal Democrats Group - Alternating the Weed Spraying Programme
This Council notes:
- For at least the last 5 years, the weed spraying programme undertaken by Amey on behalf of the One Trafford Partnership has always started in the North of the Borough.
- The programme typically takes around two months to complete.
- However, it has often started late when contractors are unavailable, which when coupled with delays for weather, means it is often October before the programme finally reaches the southern parts of the borough.
- The residents living in South Trafford are therefore continually at a disadvantage as their wards are visited last.
- Initially, this just means having their residential streets and town and village centres looking untidy and uncared for throughout the whole summer, every year.
- However, repeatedly leaving the southern half of Trafford until last, also means it is subjected to the longer-term damage to road surfaces and drainage systems.
This Council believes:
- It is unfair to have a schedule which plans to leave the same part of the Borough until last every time because by the time the weed spraying programme reaches wards in the Timperley and Altrincham area, it is too late:
- the seeds have spread - making the problem worse, year-on-year;
- the weeds have got very big - so they leave sizable holes in the surface, helping potholes form;
- the weeds start to block grids and drains - increasing surface flooding.
- We should strive for Trafford’s town and village centres to look their best, therefore a more considered approach to the schedule that prioritises town and village centres should be developed.
This Council resolves to:
- Commence the weed spraying programme by spraying the main street(s) in each of the town and village centres in the Borough first, before starting other roads.
- Alternate the weed spraying programme each year, so that it starts at the opposite end of the Borough, geographically, to the year before.
- This would mean the first weeks of spraying in 2024 would be in Bowdon, Hale, Altrincham and Timperley, and the programme would finish in wards around Stretford, Old Trafford and Gorse Hill. Then in 2025 the order would reverse, and so on.
Motion Submitted by the Liberal Democrats Group - A Fair Deal on Business Rates Retention
This Council welcomes:
The continuation of the 100% growth retention programme for business rates as stipulated in the Greater Manchester Mayor’s devolution deal.
This Council notes that:
The current retention ratio sees 75% of the revenue growth retained by Trafford and 25% of the growth in business rates handed over to the Combined Authority.
The current retention ratio is not a progressive calculation based on the different financial positions of the 10 boroughs – but is instead a ‘flat rate’.
Renegotiations of this ratio have been successful before, most recently during the pandemic.
As one of the 20 lowest funded Councils in the country, Trafford faces huge financial challenges, which could force the Local Authority to drawn down reserves to balance the books to maintain our statutory obligations.
This Council believes that:
A more progressive system of business rates growth retention ratios could provide Trafford with the funding to support local high streets and offset the need to draw down reserves when setting the budget.
The benefits of business rates growth retention should be felt by the business community that has driven the growth.
No barriers should be placed in front of small businesses.
The introduction of parking charges is a false economy, because any parking revenue the council gains will quickly be offset by a corresponding fall in business rates revenue as footfall on local high streets drops.
Assigning contributions using a ‘flat rate’ is not progressive and instead, the ratio of growth retention should favour those local authorities with the lowest levels of reserves.
This Council resolves to:
Seek a renegotiation of the business rates growth retention settlement with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, so that each authority’s contribution is proportionate to that authority’s level of reserves.
In other words, authorities with higher levels of reserves can afford to - and therefore should - contribute more to the GMCA. Whereas authorities with smaller levels of reserves should contribute less.
In the event that Trafford achieves a favourable settlement, the Council resolves to use the additional retained business rates rebate to:
Reintroduce local free parking schemes in targeted locations across the borough and avoid the introduction of village centre parking charges in Timperley, supporting our high streets and encouraging people to shop local.
Use any remaining funding that might be available after the completion of the above to reduce the need for this Council to draw down its reserves in order to present a balanced budget.
Motion Submitted by the Labour Group - Vaping
Over the last few years, vaping among our young people has risen sharply, both nationally and locally.
In Trafford our Public Health team undertook a Young People’s Trading Standards Survey 2022 which told us:
- 10% of young people who completed the survey claimed to vape occasionally or regularly compared to the GM average of 22%;
- 77% answered that they had never tried a vape, which is higher than the GM average of 59%.
However, our Voice of the Child Champions group told us in February 2023 that they felt the prevalence estimated in this survey are inaccurate, and the number of young people vaping was higher and that most people who vaped had not smoked before.
Also, some data we have accessed from Action on Smoking Health (ASH) shows that 8.6% of 11- to 18-year-olds in England vaped in 2022, compared with 4% in 2021.
Recent Chartered Trading Standards Institute research found that 60% of local trading standards services report high street shops selling vapes or vaping products to children. Trading standards teams reported a significant rise in underage vape sales last year, with more than a fifth of youngsters buying vaping products from newsagents while 16.3% buying them from a supermarket. Schools in Trafford are mirroring this trend with secondary schools now having to confiscate vaping products on school premises.
The effects of e-cigarettes and vaping are still not yet fully understood - which is especially important in the context of young people, as their lungs are still developing. There is growing evidence that e-cigarettes can help people manage their nicotine cravings – but this isn’t without risk. While research has shown vaping poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking, it is deeply worrying that more and more children – who have never smoked – are starting vaping.
The LGA has called on its members to step up enforcement to deal with growing numbers of shops selling vapes to children despite the 18-age limit, with many “especially concerned” by child-friendly marketing, including colourful packages and different flavours. We are aware of the anti-social aspects of vaping and the environmental problems that are also associated; however, this motion is concentrating on our young people’s health and what we do to prevent ill health for them in the future.
This Council asks the following:
- that the Leader writes to the Secretary of state for tighter regulations on the marketing of vape products, including a ban on brightly colour packaging and a review of the flavours vape companies use which are likely to appeal to children.
- that all parties across the chamber lobby the government and their local MPs for extra funding for councils for education and support to deliver to our young people the real health issues that vaping causes in the long term and the short term around popcorn lung and more.
- Call for harsher punishments for companies which flout advertising rules to promote their products on social media, and for more licensing ... view the full agenda text for item 9d
Cross-Party Motion Submitted by the Liberal Democrats Group and Conservative Group - Support for a Greater Manchester-wide Trial of the Baby-box
This Council notes:
- Across Greater Manchester, more than one in every three children grow up in poverty. Three of the 20 local authorities with the highest levels of child poverty nationally, are in Greater Manchester.
- As many as 10 children in every classroom of 30, are not getting the start in life that they deserve.
- The pandemic has compounded this situation, leading to a spike in child poverty rates of approximately 6% during the ‘pandemic years’ – 2020 and 2021.
This Council believes in the power of early intervention and in the positive difference that can be made when health services provide meaningful support to families and children from birth.
The baby-box is a care package which is delivered to expectant parents, carers and guardians in the early stages of a child’s life. It is loaded with essentials such as clothing, reusable nappies, maternity pads, blankets, wraps and slings, as well as books, vouchers and advice for new parents. The box itself doubles as a small cot.
The principle behind the baby box is that every child should be offered the best possible start in life.
Finland and Scotland have long since adopted the baby-box. Each have seen a steady and sustained positive impact on child poverty rates, as well as infant mortality rates and rates of post-natal depression, among other positive health impacts.
The universal nature of the baby box in both countries means that no child is left behind and that no stigma is placed on families for receiving support.
Whilst a universally implemented baby-box could deliver transformational outcomes for children and families across Greater Manchester, this Council recognises the current strain on public sector finance and therefore advocates for a proportionate universal approach to be adopted in developing a Greater Manchester-wide trial of the baby-box.
This Council also believes in the importance of the role of businesses in driving positive health outcomes for the people of Greater Manchester.
This Council resolves to:
- Support a Greater Manchester-wide trial of the baby-box based on the principal of proportional universalism and ask the Leader of the Council, and representatives from all parties to send an ‘all-party’ letter to the Mayor of Greater Manchester and his deputy with responsibility for Health, calling for options for a trial to be developed and expressing our shared belief that the public and private sectors can work together in the delivery of an ethical and sustainable baby-box trial.
- Write to the Leaders of the other Greater Manchester local authorities calling on them to add their support for a trial.
- Undertake consultation here in Trafford to hear suggestions from parents and professionals about their needs and how a baby-box could best provide the right support.
Motion Submitted by the Conservative Group - Altrincham Minor Injuries Unit
This Council notes that the closing of Altrincham Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) during the COVID-19 pandemic was intended as a temporary measure. Council also notes that Altrincham MIU was reopened briefly in 2021 only to be closed again with “staffing issues” cited. This Council praises the work done by the Health Scrutiny Committee in its attempts to see Altrincham MIU reopened.
This Council is concerned by the additional pressures the continued closure of Altrincham MIU presents not just to A&E departments in Greater Manchester but also to GP Out-Of-Hours services run in Trafford. This Council is concerned that residents in Trafford with minor injuries are making longer journeys to A&E in Wythenshawe, and residents in South Trafford – in Altrincham, Timperley, Broadheath and Hale in particular – do not have ready access to minor injuries care within the borough. This Council notes that a two-day opening offer was developed but was rejected even though a two-day opening plan would be welcomed by residents if the alternative is no service offering at all.
With this in mind, this Council resolves to write to the following people asking them to support efforts to reopen Altrincham Minor Injuries Unit:
1. Mark Cubbon – Group Chief Executive of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.
2. Sir Richard Leese – Chair of NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care.
3. Paul Dennett – Chair of the NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership Board at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
Motion Submitted by the Conservative Group - Free After Three Parking Scheme
This Council notes:
1) the thriving of local towns and their businesses in Trafford is of high importance.
2) Trafford residents should be encouraged to support local businesses, as we head into the festive season, and to shop locally.
3) Shorter journeys to nearby town centres produce less carbon emissions than longer journeys to shopping centres further away, such as the Trafford Centre and Cheshire Oaks.
4) In previous years Council has implemented a ‘Free after Three’ scheme over the festive period.
Therefore, this Council resolves:
1) To instate free car parking after 3 p.m. in all Council run carparks from late November 2023 until early January 2024.