Venue: Committee Rooms 2 & 3, Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford M32 0TH
Contact: Alexander Murray, Governance Officer
To note the Membership of the Committee for the 2023/24 Municipal Year including the appointment of Chair and Vice Chair.
RESOLVED: That the membership be noted.
To note the Terms of Reference of the Committee for the 2023/24 Municipal Year.
RESOLVED: That the Committee Terms of Reference be noted.
To receive and, if so determined, to agree as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2023.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held 8th March 2023 be agreed as an accurate record.
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 (email@example.com) by 4
p.m. on the working day prior to the meeting. Questions must be relevant to
items appearing on the agenda and will be submitted in the order in which
they were received.
No questions were received.
To consider the attached presentation.
The Executive Member for Highways, Environmental, and Traded Services introduced the item and spoke of the developments made over the last few years highlighting how the contract had moved from being a self-monitored to having a client team in place who oversaw the contract. There had been a wide range of improvements made around communications and ensuring messages went out regarding all changes to services that were relevant to residents, Members, and stakeholder groups.
The Director of Highways, Transport, and Environment then went through the presentation which had been circulated as part of the agenda. The presentation covered the context, an overall summary analysis, service by service review, and the next steps and outline of the revised service.
The Committee were informed that the 7-year review had looked at the options within the contract, the lessons learned during the first 7 years, and changes in the environment, technology, and services to ensure the contract was fit for purpose. The review had taken over a year to complete and during that time a number of changes had been brought in to improve service delivery and monitoring. The Director of Highways, Transport, and Environment recognised the next seven years would bring a number of additional challenges for the service especially around the management of highways and addressing the impacts of climate change. The review had taken a strategic approach to ensure services were viewed, monitored, and delivered in a realistic way. The Committee were shown the 5 strategic goals identified by the review, the new structure that had been created, and the processes developed to deliver those priorities.
The Director of Highways, Transport, and Environment stated that he felt the work over the last few years had stabilised the services and the next stage was to build upon that foundation. During the review process Amey had invested within the partnership by updating and improving their IT systems to improve data capture, monitoring, and communication. A lot of work had also been put into improving the client/provider relationship to ensure it was collaborative rather than adversarial. The Committee were provided with an overview of the changes made to the governance arrangements of the contract and increased transparency of Amey’s activities and were assured the changes would deliver improved services to residents, members, and other stakeholders.
The Committee were shown a slide detailing the changes made to the refuse service, which included the implementation of computer systems to track bin crews in real time and respond when issues arose. Changes had been made to the bin collections across Trafford and additional changes were to be introduced around Christmas 2023 to ensure all bins were collected within 3-day period over the festive holidays. The Committee were shown a slide displaying the improvement in project delivery along with details of the next steps for refuse collection. The next slide showed the reduction in complaints received about the refuse collection service.
The Director of Highways, Transport, and Environment provided detail about the monitoring of the contract. The ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
LEADER OF THE COUNCILS PRIORITIES FOR 2023/24
To consider a verbal report from the Leader of the Council.
The Leader spoke through the key strategic aims for the year. There had been a relaunch of the Councils strategic partnership the day before and the Leader spoke of the importance of working in partnership to achieve the Councils goals. One of the key areas of discussion at the launch was the cost-of-living crisis and the challenge of tackling poverty within Trafford. The Amey 7-year review was another key area of focus for the Council. The outcomes of the review would help to ensure that those services delivered for Trafford residents and the Leader welcomed the input of Scrutiny to ensure that was achieved.
The Council had recently completed the recruitment for the position of Head of Climate Change along with an officer in support. The Leader had been named green city region lead for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and he would utilise the role to look at examples from across the region and country to bring in new initiatives and examples of best practice to Trafford. Other areas of work around climate change included the Electric Vehicle charging point roll out, the continued support for play streets, expanding active transport across the borough, district heat networks, and expanding solar energy generation across the borough.
The Leader informed the Committee of the completion of the Councils Culture Strategy which would help the Council invest in its residents to build upon the area’s rich cultural heritage. As part of the strategy additional staff would be appointed with sufficient skills to help recognise the talents within in the area and to help people to reach their potential and to help residents express their culture.
The Leader spoke to the Committee about the large number of developments that were ongoing and planned across Trafford. Development was already underway in the Grafton Centre, Sale Magistrates Court, and the Stretford Master Plan. More was upcoming with the plans for Urmston Town Centre and with the Fermi due to submit a planning application which would offer new opportunities in the area. The Council were also looking at a vision for waterside to maximise the land that was available there.
The final area the Leader drew the Committee’s attention to was Improving the health outcomes for young people across the borough. This was strategic priority for the Council to deliver the best possible start for children and young people and the Leader spoke of the importance of working with the Locality Board to deliver that priority. The Leader wanted to explore how to improve outcomes for all children and young people across the area in the aftermath of COVID.
Councillor Jones thanked the Leader for the update and noted the school streets programme and asked how the Council planned to expand the programme. The Leader responded that the Council was keen to expand the programme and would be looking to make improvements from the lessons learned from the trails. Work was ongoing to identify funding for the programme which would help remove barriers for young people ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
To consider items for the 2023/24 workprogramme.
The Chair introduced the item and informed those in attendance that the Committee had already met informally to raise possible items for the year. The Committee were asked to note some items had been carried forward from the previous year, most notably the two task and finish groups. The Chair then went through the items listed on the priority list with the accessibility of Council services, issues around mould and damp, and the retrofitting of accommodation being of the highest priority to come to the Committee. The scrutiny of the Carrington Relief Road was a carryover from the previous year and would come routinely to the Committee.
Following the introduction Councillor Coggins put forward the LNQ and THT merger as an area for the Committee consider along with the Damp and Mould and Retrofitting as they all involved the Housing Association. Councillor Coggins also suggested that the Committee look at wildflower expansion, allotments, and food growing.
Councillor Jerrome stated that issues around access to public toilets had been brought to his attention by a number of community groups and residents and he asked whether the Committee could look at this at the scale of the problem. The Governance Officer suggested that the item fell more under the Health Scrutiny Committee’s remit and that the Committee could recommend it to Health Scrutiny. The Chair agreed to take the action to refer the item to the Health Scrutiny Committee
Councillor Coggins suggested that The Items suggested by the Executive Member for Finance and Governance and the Director of Finance and System could be taken up by the Accounts and Audit Committee rather than the Scrutiny Committee.
Councillor Walsh asked if the committee could look at the elements of the Amey contract with more in-depth reports on individual services. The Committee agreed with Councillor Walsh’s suggestion and that it would be picked up within the ongoing monitoring of the Amey contract.
Councillor Coggins noted that there appeared to be a number of key themes within the items and suggested that Retrofitting and Damp and Mould could be covered together and the merger of THT and LNQ. The Chair agreed with Councillor Coggins suggestion and stated that those items would form the basis of the next agenda.
The Committee agreed that the items on the weeding programme, re-wilding and allotments would also be considered by the Committee together.
1) That the suggestions for the work programme be noted.
2) That the topic of access to public toilets be suggested to the Health Scrutiny Committee.