Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 20th July, 2021 6.00 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber, Bury Town Hall

Contact: Julie Gallagher  Democratic Services

No. Item



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 C Birchmore declared a personal interest in item OSC.6, Submission of the places for everyone plan as a member of the group Bury Folk Keep it Green.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 162 KB

The minutes of the meeting held on 25th March 2021 are attached.


Responding to a query from Councillor Bernstein, the Monitoring Officer reported that she had ruled out a request for a Call-in in relation to Cabinet Minute CA.100 Future of the Civics Venues reporting that call in should not be used as a mechanism for voicing objections or dislike for a particular decision and should only be used in exceptional circumstances.


It was agreed:


That the minutes of the last meeting, held on 25 March 2021, be approved as a correct record.



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.


The following questions from members of the public were received in advance of the meeting:


Question one:  Taken the Places For Everyone plan is before the council, over the next 3 years exactly how many social and affordable to rent homes will the council be building on brownfield land/sites owned by the council, either as the master developer or under a joint venture with an external social and affordable to rent housing developer?


Supplementary question: As the leader of the council has previously stated that the council would enter into joint ventures for the development of social and affordable to rent homes in the borough, exactly how many joint ventures regarding social and affordable to rent homes are the council exploring as of today, and will these new social and affordable to rent homes be constructed to the Passivhaus Standard?


In response Councillor O’Brien, Leader of the Council reported there are a number of Council owned brownfield sites coming forward for development, including land at School Street in Radcliffe, the Wheatfield site in Whitefield and William Kemp Heaton and Fletcher Fold Road in Bury, all of which will be expected to provide at least 25% affordable housing, and some of these are likely to be developed for 100% affordable housing, including affordable rent and shared ownership.


The Leader reported we are also exploring opportunities

  • to provide specialist accommodation in conjunction with Adult Social Care. (These proposals will be subject to sign off by Cabinet in due course) 
  • We are working in partnership with Homes England to bring forward the East Lancashire Paper Mill Site in Radcliffe, which will include the provision of affordable housing, and
  • Through our Joint Commissioning Partnership, we are working with Registered Providers of affordable housing to facilitate joint working and increase the delivery of affordable homes.


There is a clear ambition from Government, both through planning policy and Affordable Homes Programme funding to increase opportunities for affordable home ownership, including shared ownership and discount sale.


The Housing Strategy proposes the development of a Bury Eco Standard which will reflect a fully retrofitted home with a renewable energy source. In order to meet the targets for all new homes to be carbon neutral by 2028 and all existing homes by 2038, a significant step change is needed. This will require high standards to be achieved and Passivhaus is seen as the level we need to be aiming for. In developing the Bury Eco standard all options including Passivhaus will be considered and we will certainly include the principles of quality installation which Passivhaus embodies.



Question Two: The Council's Climate Strategy and Plan contain several statements and actions which are in conflict with elements of Places for Everyone (PfE). How will the Overview and Scrutiny Committee ensure Bury Council brings PfE in line with its zero carbon aims and similar aims across Greater Manchester?


Supplementary question Would it be appropriate to form an Environment Scrutiny Committee to be the vehicle for ensuring that this climate change  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSC.3



A period of up to 15 minutes will be allocated for questions and supplementary questions from members of the Council who are not members of the committee. This period may be varied at the discretion of the chair.


The following questions from Elected Members were received in advance of the meeting:


Question ONE: The Crostons Road junction, at which traffic from Brandlesholme Road, Tottington Road and Walshaw Road, the three main arteries for traffic going into and out of Bury, converge, already experiences significant delays during rush hour. Has the Council carried out a full assessment of potential impact on traffic levels at the junction with over a thousand houses to be placed in Walshaw under the revised Places for Everyone plan?" Cllr J Rydeheard


In response the Leader reported that all the PfE allocations are supported by a Transport Locality Assessment.  These assessments examine the likely local impact of the development of the allocation on the transport network and identifies where mitigation is needed.  The Crostons Road junction was included within the transport modelling for the Walshaw allocation and mitigation for the junction has been identified.  It is a requirement of the Walshaw allocation policy that off site highway works are provided to ensure acceptable travel movement.


Responding to Cllr Rydeheard supplementary question, Councillor Quinn reported that the places for Everyone submission has taken into account proposed increases in traffic.


Question two: How many independent and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will the clean air charge impact in Bury and what engagement has there been with these stakeholders.  Councillor N Jones


In response Councillor Quinn Cabinet Member, Environment, Climate Change and Operations reported that Across Greater Manchester, Members and Officer have met regularly to engage with key stakeholders including bus, freight transport, taxi and private hire industry bodies, to raise awareness and ascertain feedback on the Clean Air proposals.  Marketing and communications activity has taken place during the 2019. This has included extensive marketing, using radio ads, local press, digital advertising, social media and local authority channels.




Prior to its consideration at Cabinet, Members are asked to review the attached report from the Leader of the Council, Councillor O’Brien. 

Additional documents:





The Leader of the Council attended the meeting to present an overview prior to publication of the Places for Everyone Joint Plan.

Documents had been shared with Members prior to the meeting which contained information in respect of the rationale for the proposal.  The Leader reported that continuing to work collaboratively on a joint plan across the nine districts brings significant benefits to Bury including a stronger local economy; reduced impact on the Green Belt; an up-to-date plan; significant infrastructure investment and affordable housing.

The reports circulated in advance of the meeting provided information in respect of:

  • Publication plan and consultation
  • Plans for Homes
  • Plans for the environment
  • Plans for jobs
  • Plans for the greenbelt and a brownfield land preference


Questions and comments were invited from Members of the Committee and the following issues were raised:


Following a commitment from the Leader at the meeting a summary of the questions and responses received are appended to the minutes; the responses will also be made available on the Council’s website


1.   Councillor Birchmore raised concerns in respect of the criteria used to select the sites including concerns in relation to Radcliffe/Elton Reservoir and the effect on green belt.


Responding The Leader reported that the criteria was developed using national planning policy principles and the wider strategic context of Greater Manchester’s ambitions to boost the competitiveness of northern districts, create more opportunities for employment and improve the housing offer and market.

The Elton Reservoir site meets criterion 6 as it is in close proximity to the existing tram line and has the potential to provide a comprehensive public transport hub as part of a new tram stop.  This is proposed to include a park and ride facility as well as well as active travel facilities (e.g. cycle hub / electric vehicles etc).

2.   Councillor LJ Dean sought clarification in relation to previously undertaken consultation and also whether the Council could choose to have a local plan


The Leader reported without an up-to-date plan in place we would be at serious risk of:

  • Planning by appeal - rather than development being planned and managed properly, we would be likely to get inundated by smaller-scale ad-hoc planning applications on Green Belt land with developers appealing against any refusal of planning permission - with a greater likelihood of success given the recent appeal decision in Welwyn.
  • Government intervention - Government has indicated that it will use sanctions for districts that do not have an up-to-date plan by December 2023 meaning that Bury's planning powers could be removed and for us to have a plan produced for us - which could mean higher housing targets than currently set out by the PfE.


3.   Councillor Lucy Smith asked for clarification in relation to the number of houses that may be required if Bury Council, like Stockport chose to develop a local plan rather than partake in the GM PfE report


The Leader reported that the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSC.5



·         A report from Councillor Alan Quinn – Cabinet Member Environment, Climate Change and Operations in respect of Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan is attached.

·         A report from Councillor Alan Quinn – Cabinet Member Environment, Climate Change and Operations in respect of Climate Strategy is attached.



Additional documents:


·                     (A) Councillor Alan Quinn, Cabinet Member Environment, Climate Change and Operations provided an overview of the Clean Air Plan, an accompanying report had been circulated to Members in advance of the meeting.


The proposed final GM Clean Air Plan sets out final proposals for:

  1. The boundary, hours of operation, management of the scheme, discounts, exemptions and daily charges of a Clean Air Zone;
  2. The amount of supporting funds for each vehicle type; and
  3. Other supporting measures.


Questions and comments were invited from Members of the Committee and the following issues were raised:


Responding to Councillor Birchmore, Councillor Quinn, Cabinet Member Environment, Climate Change and Operations reported; that air quality monitoring work is overseen by the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit and their Independent Technical Review Panel.  The air quality modelling has been undertaken following published national best practice guidance. Both bodies have looked in detail at Greater Manchester’s modelling throughout the development of the Plans and endorsed the work, concluding that a clean air zone is required to achieve compliance.

For economic and practical reasons Local Authorities are advised to monitor air quality using both continuous automatic analysers and diffusion tubes. This enables the much wider spread of monitoring using multiple diffusion tube sites, alongside the greater accuracy of the continuous automatic analysers. It is the annual average nitrogen dioxide target that we have an issue with and the diffusion tubes offer a low cost practical means for measuring annual concentrations. 

Alongside our existing network of monitoring sites this year a new automatic real time analyser we will be installed at Bury Bridge, a busy road section predicted to be the last site in Bury to meet the nitrogen dioxide target. This should give a good indication of when the Borough is meeting the objectives.  

The Base Year used for this project was 2016 which was the latest available data. The monitoring data from years 2020/2021 which have been most directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have not formed part of the baseline appraisal process.

Responding to Councillor Vernon, the TfGM representative reported that a driver of a non-compliant vehicle would be charged for driving within the Clean Air Zone each day. However, these are the only charges they would face for a 48-hour period, they could make multiple trips in the CAZ.


Councillor Quinn, Cabinet Member Environment, Climate Change and Operations reported that the anticipated cost to small businesses is dependent on their individual circumstances and business model.

In terms of the cost of upgrade, this will depend on the circumstances of the vehicle owner in terms of the value of their existing vehicle and their choice of upgrade.


For market traders, who are likely to own an LGV, there is a temporary exemption to 31 May 2023 to support LGV owners to upgrade.  As well as this, the funding amounts for their financial support has increased for larger LGVs and a retrofit grant is also available for the models eligible for retrofit.


For the taxi trade, there is  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSC.6



Julie Gallagher, Democratic Services will provide Members with a verbal update:

Financial Monitoring Group


6th Sept


23rd Oct


17th Jan

Lead Officer

Sam Evans (S151 Officer)

Membership (so far)

Cllr Bernstein

Cllr Dean


Performance Sub Group


13th Sept


29 Nov


21st Feb

Kate Waterhouse

(and HS and SH)

Cllr Bernstein

Cllr Vernon




Members considered the establishment of the Scrutiny sub committees.


             It was agreed:


Democratic Services would liaise with Councillors and confirm the final membership.




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




Following a request from the Chair, the Cabinet Member for Environment, Climate Change and Operations provided members with an update in relation to recent changes to refuse collections across the Borough.  Councillor Quinn, apologised for the inconvenience caused and reported that he takes responsibility for the current disruption, performance has improved, and the collection backlog was cleared as of 19th July 2021.


Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee raised the following concerns;

  • Low workforce morale
  • Over-reliance and use of agency staff
  • Changes to the fleet
  • Capacity of new lorries
  • Poor confidence amongst member of the public in the service
  • Missed collections
  • Inability to report issues of concern


Responding to the concerns raised the Cabinet Member for Environment, Climate Change and Operations reported that there has been an over-reliance on agency staff within the service, the Cabinet member is due to meet with the workforce tomorrow at 6am to discuss their concerns.  


The Executive Director reported that are a number of issues affecting the service, in addition to the changes to three weekly round collection, ping covid notifications have placed additional pressure on staffing.  Communication going forward will be improved, it is envisaged by the third cycle of three weekly bin collections, the service will return to a collection rate of 99%.


The Cabinet Member for Environment, Climate Change and Operations reported

that the new vehicles are slimmer and can carry half a tonne more waste than previous vehicles.


It was agreed:


  1. Both the Cabinet Member for Environment, Climate Change and Operations and the Executive Director, Operations be thanked for their attendance.
  2. The Councils Performance in relation to the refuse collection “Industry Standard” will be presented at a future meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.





The Head of Democratic Services reported following a receipt of a valid call-in, an additional meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be convened.


It was agreed:


The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet on 29th July 2021 at 7.15pm to consider the Accelerated Land Sales, Phase Two Call in item.