Venue: Council Chamber, Bury Town Hall
Contact: Chloe Ashworth Democratic Services
Apologies are noted above.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
The minutes from the meeting held on 19th July 2022 are attached for approval.
It was agreed:
The minutes of the meeting held on 19th July 2022 be approved.
Councillor Vernon, Chair, advised the committee that as the last meeting took place virtually ratification of decisions made at the meeting on the 19th July 2022 be required.
It was put forward by Councillor Vernon and seconded by Councillor Bernstein and agreed unanimously that the actions be ratified.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
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 public questions.
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.
One question was asked in advance of the meeting by Councillor Lancaster and is appended to the minutes.
Attached is a report from Councillor Gold Cabinet Member for Finance and Communities. Chris Hill, Greater Manchester Police will also be in attendance.
Councillor Gold, Cabinet Member for Finance and Communities provided an overview of the report. In January 2022, Overview and Scrutiny Committee received a report outlining the development of a new Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Plan for Bury. It was agreed that an update report to outline progress against the Plan would be presented to the Committee six months into delivery.
In addition, Chief Superintendent Chris Hill provided an overview in respect of Greater Manchester Police and locally in the Borough of Bury. Chief Superintendent Chris Hill advised the progressive steps have been taken towards the establishment coming out of special measures.
Councillor Vernon then opened to questions from Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Members sought assurances on how Greater Manchester Police will continue to progress when released from special measures. In response Chris Hill, Chief Superintendent GMP advised that more work is needed on repeat demand and using a multi partnership approach to target areas of repeat hotspots.
Councillor Vernon questioned the priorities within the Plan which relate to drug related offending, domestic abuse, community cohesion, anti-social behaviour and reducing offending. It was asked, where does child protection fit, particularly as we have seen in neighbouring areas, Child Sexual Exploitation and what has been put in place to reduce any recurrences. In response Councillor Gold advised a co-ordinated approach is needed to help and protect children and adults at risk through collaborative working across organisations and agencies. In Bury, partner agencies have created all age safeguarding arrangements Chris Hill, GMP provided reassurance to the Committee that a multi-agency approach is taken.
Members sought assurances on how the increased use of buying and selling of Nitrous Oxide will be targeted. In response Councillor Gold advised Bury Council and partners have done community events to raise awareness of the dangers of Nitrous Oxide and influence the publics behaviour. As the cannisters are legal products with a legitimate use it prevents any ban on them being sold. The licensing and regulation teams have visited shops where they have been made aware Nitrous Oxide cannisters are sold to advise on the dangers and to encourage them not to sell to individuals where they feel there is a risk of them being misused. Further promotion of the dangers of such cannisters will be cascaded through schools and colleges as part of the start of a new school year.
In response to questions from Councillor Pilkington regarding hate crime Councillor Gold informed the committee that figures for hate crime have been down over the last two quarters and more detailed figures will be circulated following the meeting.
A discussion took place regarding the water safety and if work can be done to change the message from no open water to safe open water swimming. In response Kate Waterhouse, Joint Chief Information Officer advised that for Spring/Summer 2023 officers will be looking at incorporating a proposal for safer outdoor swimming.
Councillor Peel asked questions regarding increasing neighbourhood patrols. Chief Superintendent Hill responded by stating relationships ... view the full minutes text for item OSC.7
Report from Councillor O’Brien, Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Growth attached.
Councillor O’Brien, Cabinet Member for Strategic Growth provided an overview of the Bury Town Centre Regeneration report. In the update Committee Members were advised Bury does provide a good offer for retail and is third best out of Greater Manchester and assured that Bury does not want to be complacent and that the regeneration should be a physical and people approach to regeneration that focuses on the future.
Councillor Bernstein, echoed confidence and ambition in the plan but sought assurances on capacity to deliver including the flexibility of the plan. In response Councillor O’Brien advised that whilst it is a big piece of work and will take time to be complete, the Council does have the resources needed to deliver along with the ability to be flexible and adaptable.
Councillor Peel raised points surrounding capacity for events and links to the Culture Strategy. Councillor O’Brien highlighted the flexi-hall which adds another layer of capacity to host events and attractions in addition to the offer already from the Met Theatre and additional hotel capacity.
Councillor Peel also highlighted the importance of residents having access to affordable credit, with an example being bringing Manchester Credit Union to Bury. In response Councillor O’Brien advised the Department for Work and Pensions has a Job Centre in the Mill Gate and there is scope to expand this into better access to health, education, and skills to use spaces commercially and adaptably.
Councillor Birchmore sought assurances regarding the offer to new businesses and start-ups along with the SME offer. In response to the questions raised Councillor O’Brien advised the Economic Development Strategy has shown we have some of the best micro-business growth and most people are employed in the Borough within the Health or Retail sectors. The ‘Invest in Bury Service’ engages with businesses and the Made in Bury Service that provides support to businesses along with Greater Manchester support. In summary Councillor O’Brien advised there is a dedicated team that works with our partners to support businesses in the Borough. In addition, discussions took place regarding technology skills and age gaps in the profession. It was agreed that STEM and digital subjects are in demand and whilst the centre in Bury will be focused on health it will also take a digital approach.
Councillor Vernon questioned the numbers contained in report regarding housing. In response Councillor O’Brien informed members he will circulate these following the meeting but outlined the following:
Councillor Walsh sought assurances on the Mill Gate shopping centre and asked how much is owned by Bury council and will this be ... view the full minutes text for item OSC.8
Any other business which by reason of special circumstances the Chair agrees may be considered as a matter of urgency.
There was no urgent business.