Manchester City Council

The Council & democracy Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee

Our Current Investigations

Over the next couple of months the Committee will be looking at the following areas of work:

  • Regulatory Services Enforcement Policy 
  • Heaton Park and Hall Strategic Plan
  • Waste collection and street cleansing

Latest News

18/11/2014 - Discussion with invited community representatives to discuss sustainability, community impact and behaviour change

At the November meeting the Committee invited representatives from ‘Upping It’ and the Moss Side Allotment to the meeting. These two community groups are based in the Moss Side and Rusholme area of the city. The Committee invited them to learn about their work in the community and discuss resident engagement and how to influence behaviour change.

Members heard how ‘Upping It’ was formed by local residents in response to environmental issues within their neighbourhood, such as discarded rubbish and poor recycling rates. The Committee learnt that Street Representatives had volunteered to engage with, educate and support local residents to help improve their area by reducing incidents of dumped rubbish. Members were informed that to achieve this residents were encouraged to take responsibility for the correct disposal of their own rubbish.

The Committee learnt that engagement with all residents had resulted in people taking pride in, and responsibility for their street and alleyway. Members were told that as a result of this commitment a strong sense of community and responsibility for the area had emerged amongst residents and this is evident in the reduction in fly tipping and increased rates of recycling.  

Members were impressed with the success achieved by the ‘Upping It’ group Members were especially keen to hear of their engagement with young people through engagement with the local schools. Members commented that issues surrounding waste and recycling had been a theme of many meetings of the Committee and they were pleased to learn about an example of where resident involvement had achieved a positive behaviour change and agreed that this model should be encouraged in all areas of the city.


26/08/14 - Petition for Debate: Ban Plastic Bags
At the August meeting the Committee considered a petitiont hat had been submitted by the Manchester Bag It Campaign. The petition organisations had collected over 1000 valid signatures in support of their call for Manchester City Council to impose a ban on plastic shopping bags.

A representative from the petition organisers was invited to the meeting and she delivered a presentation which argued the economic and environmental reasons why such a ban should be imposed. The presentation also provided examples of other countries and cities where such a ban has been successfully adopted. The Committee discussed the benefits of introducing a plastic bag ban and agreed that they were in favour of exploring ways that such a ban could be achieved in Manchester .

The Committee thanked the petition organisers for raising this issue and recommended that the Executive Member discusses with the City Solicitor the possibilities of Manchester introducing a By Law to ban single use plastic bags.  The members requested that this information be reported back to the Committee in six months time.

24/07/14 - Drainage Maintenance Task and Finish Group
Over the past few months a subgroup of the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee has been carrying out an investigation into the ongoing maintenance and repair of the highways drainage system. The Drainage Maintenance Task and Finish Group examined the current service operation, financial implications and future considerations. Members made a number of recommendations to improve processes. The Group was pleased to hear that two bids had been submitted for Clean City funding to undertake additional maintenance and repair of the drainage system and made recommendations on how the work should be prioritised. The Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee endorsed the Group’s recommendations at its July meeting and has asked for a report on the implementation of the revised approach to drainage maintenance to be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee.

The first meeting of the Committee following the election took place on Tuesday 10 June. The Chair opened the meeting by welcoming all those present, and in particular to those new members of the Committee. At this first meeting of the year the Committee took an update report on the development of the HOME Arts Centre and invited Dave Moutrey, Artistic Director of HOME to join the meeting and aid the discussion. Members were pleased with the positive progress that has taken place at the site since the Committee last considered this. Members particularly welcomed the news that HOME is currently in discussion with a local charitable Trust about a scheme that would deliver theatre tickets for HOME productions at £1 each, targeted to local communities. The aim would be to offer 10% of these tickets in this way. The Committee was also particularly pleased with the ambition to maximise resident participation with the offer of work based training and internships and looked forward to the opening of this world class cultural facility in early 2015.

20/03/14 - Summary of the Year
Over the previous 12 months the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee has continued to examine the many services that are based in local areas that have an impact on communities.  

The Committee has received and considered reports on a varied range of subjects including Winter Services, Central Library, the Manchester International Festival, Street Lighting, the expansion of Metrolink and Waste Disposal.

In addition to these varied subjects, the Committee has also established smaller groups to investigate specific subjects of interest in much more detail. These have included a group looking at Drainage Maintenance across the city, and a group examining the role of Letting Agents and Managing Agents in the Private Rented Sector. These groups will continue their investigations into the next municipal year and will report the findings of their investigation to the main Committee

Members of the Committee also contributed to the Environmental Sustainability Subgroup which was established in conjunction with the Economy Scrutiny Committee. It was recognised that the remit of the investigation covered both committees and it was agreed that a joint subgroup was appropriate. The final report along with its recommendations was published in January of this year.

28/10/13 - Manchester International Festival
This month the Committee looked at the evaluation of Manchester's recent International Festival and invited Alex Poots (MIF's Artistic Director) and Christine Cort (MIF's Managing Director) to join the meeting to aid discussions.  It was a very positive picture of substantial achievements: members heard about good levels of engagement with a wide cross-section of Manchester's residents and a discounted ticket initiative for residents on lower incomes, which members warmly welcomed and wished to see more of.  The Committee were also pleased to hear that the international profile of the Festival had grown considerably and that the extent of private sector funding for the Festival had significantly grown and commended Alex, Christine and the wider team on their hard work. 

Get Involved

To find out more information have a look at our full work programme.  This includes what topics we will be looking at, what specific issues we will be considering and who we will be hearing from.  Please bear in mind that the programme is continually updated, and so dates and agenda items may change from those listed in the programme.

If there's an issue you want to contribute to, let us know.  You can either send a written contribution to or you can attend a meeting and ask the Chair if you can speak.  You can also suggest a topic for us to look into by filling in our 'suggestions form.' 

If you want to speak to somebody about contributing to the committee, please call our scrutiny support officer on 0161 234 3376 or e mail   

Role of the Committee 

Councillor Basil Curley

 "Our focus, as members of the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee, is on the services that are based in local areas that have an impact on communities. It is our role to ensure that they are being run in the best interests of the residents who use them. These services include those that are vital to the effective running of a city, such as waste and planning, but also those that bring benefits to residents who access them such as culture, leisure and libraries. Our key priority is ensuring that the views of local people are influencing those making the decisions that affect them and that services are being run to benefit residents.

Our areas of interest include waste, street management, carbon emissions and climate change, planning, highways, culture, housing, libraries and theatres, leisure and sport, and neighbourhood working.

Through this page you'll be able to keep in touch with what we've been doing, find out what we'll be investigating over the next few months and how you can get involved." Councillor Basil Curley, Chair of the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee.

Find out more


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