Agenda and minutes

Virtual, Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 14th July, 2020 6.30 pm

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No. Item




There were no apologies for absence.



Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee are asked to consider whether they have an interest in any matters on the agenda and, if so, to formally declare that interest.


Councillor Harris declared a personal interest in item 5 as she was a member of the Market task group.


Councillor Walsh declared a personal interest in item 9 as she was employed in the education sector within a local school.




A period of 30 minutes has been set aside for members of the public to ask questions on matters considered at the last meeting and set out in the minutes or on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.


There were no member of the public present virtually to ask questions under this item.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on the 10th March 2020 are attached.


That the Minutes of the last meeting held on 10 March be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.




Report attached.


Councillor Jane Black, Cabinet Member for Cultural Economy presented a report giving the Overview and Scrutiny Committee an update on a range of initiatives aimed at supporting the recovery of Bury Market, which was of interest to Overview and Scrutiny.


The report outlined the support that has been given and offered to Market Traders since COVID-19 lockdown measures were introduced by the Government and the control safety measures that have been implemented.


The recovery plan that was being implemented by Market Management, the Market Task and Finish Group and Cross Party Working Group was to consider future opportunities that exist for the Market and the Capital Programme that is underway for upgrades to the Market over the next 4 years. 


Following the enforced closure of Bury Market, due to lockdown measures, all Market Traders were given a two month rent free period from 16th March 2020 to 16th May 2020, which was subject to a review on completion. A decision was subsequently taken to continue with a rent free period from 16th May 2020, to the end of June 2020 (6 weeks), and to 18th July 2020 for businesses that started trading on 4th July 2020 (8 weeks).


The initial two month rent freeze for all Traders equated to a loss of income of £400,600. The additional rent free period from 16th May 2020 to the end of June 2020 (6 weeks), and to 18th July 2020 for businesses that started trading on 4th July 2020 (8 weeks), equates to a loss of income of £318,850. The total rent concession to date stands at £719,450.


A number of measures were taken to ensure the Market met the Government guidance when it reopened on 17th June 2020 and all Traders were required to complete a risk assessment prior to reopening.

For the Markets team the challenge in the long term is to attract footfall to ensure the markets viability whilst ensuring the safety of visitors to the market. A thorough and detailed recovery plan had been developed by Market Management.

The Markets Task and Finish Group and cross party working group had been established to: -


  • To agree a strategy for Bury Market to ensure that it remains at the heartof the towns retail experience.
  • To help create a vision for how the Market evolves to meet changing consumer tastes and preferences.
  • To identify big investment opportunities that can ensure the future of the Market.
  • To identify how the Market can better connect with local residents that don’t currently use it.
  • Identify how the Market can adapt.

It was agreed at Cabinet in May 2020 that £50,000 is allocated to develop a Masterplan for the Market and the Town Centre as a whole, an indication the Market is seen as vital to the future success of Bury Town Centre.


The Chair asked when the formal paper with clear recommendations will be generated, as stated in the report.


It was reported  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSC.77


Regeneration going forward for Bury & Radcliffe pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Report attached.



Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration presented a report giving the Overview and Scrutiny Committee an update on regeneration going forward for Bury and Radcliffe.


Town centres had been facing unprecedented challenges in recent years and these are likely to be accelerated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Council had a long-standing recognition that town centre master planning can play a vital role in shaping the role and function of a town centre and in promoting and stimulating the growth, investment and development required to underpin them.

It was now a critical time to refresh previous masterplans and work was taking place on a new Strategic Regeneration Framework for Radcliffe with plans to shortly commission updated work on Bury town centre.


An overview was given on the challenges and future opportunities available for both Bury and Radcliffe centres.


Councillor Powell asked about the timescales involved for the masterplans, had consultations taken place and where was the finance coming from.


It was reported that as much external funding would be sought and there was a commercial focus for the future of Bury town centre with a possible consolidation of it. The masterplan would not conclude that every part required improvement but the interchange was used as an example for an upgrade.


Councillor Harris enquired what would happen with the former fire and police station sites. It was reported that there had been complications with demolition process and both sites were being promoted on the development market to investigate the demand. An educational campus estate was mentioned as a possible usage.


Councillor Stella Smith asked if ward councillors could be kept updated with consultations for developments in their ward so they could communicate with residents.


Councillor Walker mentioned the proposals for a new secondary school in Radcliffe. Comments said this would be key to help to improve educational attainment in the town and the provision of a new secondary school in Radcliffe would also reduce the need for existing and potential future Radcliffe residents from having to travel to schools outside of the town;


The Chair asked if Council Officers could produce the masterplan and when would it be available. It was reported that there was not enough capacity internally to produce it and costs would not be high with an expected return date of the autumn.


The Chair enquired about the reopening of Bury Town Hall in September.


Donna Ball reported that a lot of work was currently taking place following the water damage from the roof and a full health and safety check including asbestos monitoring would be required. Certain parts of the building such as the ground floor would re-open quicker than the damaged rooms on the second floor.


The Chair asked about Manchester Airport and it was reported that there would be more details made at the next Cabinet on this topic.


It was agreed:


That the contents of the report be noted.



Combined Authorities

Verbal update.


The Chair reported with the time constraints of the previous items and the business left on the agenda, would Members be in agreement for a Combined Authority update to be discussed at the next meeting.


It was agreed:


That the update be deferred until the September meeting.



Children & Young People - Resetting the Education Service in Bury pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Report attached.



Councillor Tamoor Tariq, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills presented a report to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the work being undertaken to reset the education service in Bury.


The recovery of learning, skills and life opportunities for children and young people, sit within the wider Bury Recovery Programme. Whilst some children have flourished during the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown, others including the most vulnerable children (those Children who have an allocated social worker, those children who are looked after by the local authority, those children in receipt of free school meals or in receipt of and EHCP) have lost valuable learning and a focus on their needs was required.


The report focusses on vulnerable young people in Bury; and within their family context. It highlighted the key issues and concerns which had been identified and proposed strategies to secure safe school return. It plans to recover well-being and lost educational opportunities and it sets a strategic longer term agenda for the ambition that education in Bury should become, one of the best both regionally and nationally.


The report provided a further update on the progress being made during the Covid-19 pandemic to reset the education service.

It also reviewed the latest national guidance on pupil return to schools and proposed a local response to resetting education.

The report also highlighted mitigation to secure safe practices, whilst the service was being recovered over the coming weeks and months.


Councillor Vernon referred to section 5.8 of the report which detailed a summer school activity programme was available.


It was reported that this would be seen by Cabinet first and Scrutiny could view it soon. Whilst a letter had been sent to Gavin Williamson about the planned programme some of the items were being finalised with activities being put together which would also focus on mental health and emotional wellbeing.


Julian Kramer added that other information in the report provided the current position and included:-

·         Phase one: Preparing for Children to return to school

·         Phase Two: Medium Term Recovery Work, for at least the next academic year.

·         Phase Three: The Strategic Reset which was concurrent with phases one and two.


Councillor Walsh again placed on record her thanks to all staff who work in the education sector and they would deserve their break over the summer.


Councillor Susan Southworth stated that she had spoken to a head teacher and they reported on how lots of details had been required by the local authority such as risk assessments. They felt that the network of experienced heads and deputies had supported other schools.


Councillor Smith enquired if less summer provision was being delivered this summer and would schools be provided with extra finances in September.


Councillor Harris asked what measures were in place to track catch up funding.


It was reported that National COVID-19 Catch Up was a one-off funding grant, to schools and not the local authority, this would be available during the next academic year to support ‘catch up’  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSC.80



Any other business which by reason of special circumstances the Chair agrees may be considered as a matter of urgency.


No other business was reported.