Contact: Alexander Murray, Governance Officer
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members to give notice of any interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
No declarations were made.
QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC
A maximum of 15 minutes will be allocated to public questions submitted in writing to Democratic Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 4pm on the working day prior to the meeting. Questions must be within the remit of the Committee or be relevant to items appearing on the agenda and will be submitted in the order in which they were received.
A number of questions had been received from a member of the public in relation to Grafton Court. The Chair read the questions out and it was agreed that a written response would be provided to the resident.
1) That the question be noted.
2) That a written response be provided to the resident.
To receive and, if so determined, to agree as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 2 February 2021.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held 2 February 2021 be agreed as an accurate record.
TRAFFORD ECONOMIC RESET AND RECOVERY
To receive a set of presentations from representatives of Trafford businesses.
The Corporate Director of Place introduced the item. The Committee had received information from Council Officers at their last meeting and had requested to receive views from other organisations from the Trafford economy who would be involved in its recovery. The representatives had been selected as they each represented a different aspect of the Trafford economy and would provide varied perspectives on the challenges and opportunities Trafford’s economic recovery presented.
Each of the representatives then spoke to the Committee about their businesses, their place within the Trafford Economy and their views on how Trafford would recover following the COVID 19 Pandemic.
The Chief Development Officer from Bruntwood gave the Committee a brief overview of who Bruntwood were as a business. The Committee were informed that Bruntwood had been operating for over 40 years and were committed to developing assets within the Greater Manchester region to help build thriving cities and communities. Bruntwood worked with a wide variety of organisations including Trafford Council, Manchester Foundation Trust and charitable organisations. Brutwood had built a strong working relationship with Trafford Council due to the strengths of the area, which included excellent transport links, strong leadership and a clear vision within the Council, excellent levels of education, and a skilled workforce.
Bruntwood felt that Trafford offered opportunities and solutions to the post Covid economic landscape, where people had a more local focus towards working, shopping, and taking part in leisure activities. While the nature of work would change in the wake of COVID 19, with a shift to more remote and agile forms of working, there were elements that could only be offered by an office environment, including the development of the next generation of employees and the social benefits of office working. This meant that the use of office space would change but Bruntwood were confident that demand would remain. It was felt that, in addition to the development of town centres, Manchester City Centre would continue to grow and spread to encompass parts of Trafford offering new opportunities for the area. Finally Greater Manchester had the largest number of degree educated workers in Europe and that talent pool would continue to attract business to the area.
The Chief Operating Officer from Financial Wellness shared a presentation with the Committee which covered who the Financial Wellness Group were, the impact of debt advice on the economy, and the challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID 19 Pandemic. The Committee were informed that the Financial Wellness Group had been based in Trafford for 27 years and were currently based in Trafford Park. Their aim was to aid people who were in financial difficulty and to support them in getting back to financial wellness. The Financial Wellness Group provided free debt advice and, where appropriate, offered debt solutions. They also provided wider more holistic support around generating income, offering discounts, benefit assessments, and online doctor and counselling services.
There had been a reduced demand for debt advice during the pandemic but this was expected to ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
To receive a report from the Corporate Director of Place and Trafford Housing Trust.
The Chair introduced the report stating that it had been written in response to a series of questions from Mr Stevenson. The Director of Property Services for Trafford Housing Trust (THT) went over the pertinent points of the supplementary update which was circulated. The Committee were assured that all residents were safe and that there had been regular communication between THT and their residents throughout the process. The work commenced early summer of 2019 and was originally scheduled to have finished before the end of 2020 however a number of issues arose which delayed the programme of works and was exacerbated by the Covid 19 pandemic. Princess Court and Empress Court were scheduled to be completed by in July 2021 with Clifford Court to be completed in August 2021, Grafton Court to be completed in September, and Pickford Court to be completed in October 2021. THT were confident that they would be able to complete by those dates as long as there were no other delays caused by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Following the overview Mr Stevenson was given the opportunity to respond to the answers received to his questions. Mr Stevenson expressed that he was satisfied with the response received but asked for clarification around some of the points. The first was around the fire alarm system within Pickford Court where there had been five times as many alarms raised due to a fault within the system. Communication had gone out to residents stating that the system was to be upgraded and would like to know when this would be completed.
Mr Stevenson noted that in January THT had spoken about advice from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service not to remove the cladding until the replacement was ready. The cladding had been removed in Princess Court and Empress Court and asked THT to confirm that residents were safer with the cladding removed than with it on.
Mr Stevenson spoke about his experience as a resident in the tower blocks during the time since Grenfell and the impact the delays to the replacement of the cladding had. Mr Stevenson asked for more clarity from THT around the delays.
Mr Stevenson asked about the heat retention of the flats which had cladding removed and whether THT were in contact with those residents to find out whether it had any impact.
Mr Stevenson offered to meet with THT to discuss the issues that he had. The Director of Property Services for THT asked Mr Stevenson if he would like to join THT’s high rise living panel Mr Stevenson agreed and an invite was to be sent out.
The alarm system would be looked at and the outcome of the review would be shared with residents and the Scrutiny Committee.
The Director of Property Services for THT explained that after the programme had been delayed they had met with the contractor and had revised the process for replacing the cladding so that it would be able to be completed sooner.
Regarding heat ... view the full minutes text for item 11.