Manchester City Council

The Council & democracy Questions to The Executive

Questions to The Executive for 2017


Councillor Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of the Council, was asked a question by Mihnea-Vladimir Ionascu:

The letting agent told us that we need to pay a renewal tenancy agreement. Is that totally legal? Because we are not able to find this in our contract!

Councillor Bernard Priest replied:

At the end of a tenancy agreement a letting agent can ask you to pay for renewing your tenancy agreement. Shelter the Housing Charity offer expert information and advice around letting agents fees for tenants, as well as ways in which they can be challenged.

Shelter can be contacted on their helpline 0808 800 4444 or on by visiting their website https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice

The link to the relevant page on Shelters website is included below;
https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting/letting_agent_fees_for_tenants

14 November 2017


Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for Environment and Skills, was asked a question by Richard Mason:

​Have any executives actually tried to drive to the Ritz on Oxford Street? The road closures actually make it impossible.

Councillor Angeliki Stogia replied:

Thank you for your question.

I am sorry if you have had difficulty in attending a venue in Manchester city centre. Manchester, like many major city’s has a city centre which aims to serve residents, businesses and visitors alike, while maintaining a viable transport infrastructure. This includes promoting the passage of public transport such as Manchester’s tram system, and the bus network.

The city centre has recently undergone several changes to the highway network including the introduction of a second cross city tram route along Princess Street and Cross Street, and the introduction of bus priority measures on Portland Street, and Oxford Road. The effects of the changes, whilst affecting general vehicular access, will require time to settle, allowing many of the regular road users to come to terms with the changes, limiting the impact to non–regular visitors to the city.

There is also a requirement to maintain access for the general motorist to properties within the city. However, this is best achieved by using the city ring road. This approach may reduce the amount of through traffic and consequently, the amount of congestion and pollution within the city centre.

The Ritz is accessible to general traffic, without having to negotiate any of the roads in the City centre currently restricted to buses and cycles only, or those affected by the tram network. It would depend on where a motorist was coming from when heading to the Ritz as to which would be the best approach. However, Whitworth Street West can be reached from the City ring road via either, Fairfield Street and Whitworth Street, when approaching from the east, from Medlock Street or Cambridge Street and Gloucester Street when approaching from the south, and from Deansgate when approaching from the west. Whitworth Street West may also be accessed from Oxford Road when joining Oxford Road at Charles Street or Grosvenor Street having approached the City from Upper Brook Street.  Motorists approaching from the north would be expected to use the ring road to access any of these routes rather than attempt to negotiate crossing the city centre.

I hope this information is helpful to you in any future visits to the Ritz or other Manchester city centre locations.

27 October 2017.

 


Councillor Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, was asked a question by a Manchester resident:

What action is being taken to stop/reduce the continuous problem of people begging in the city centre? This is especially around Piccadilly/Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street and Deansgate. Why are these people allowed to constantly pester, harass and bother people walking throughout the city? There doesn't seem to be any police action taking place to move these people on. It is an absolute embarrassment to have this many people begging and 'drugged' up in the city centre, bothering and harassing people. Some of them are even passed out/lay in the middle of the pavement or on a street bench. Something needs to be done about this continuous issue! Visitors to the city must be shocked! So embarrassing!

Councillor Nigel Murphy replied:

As you rightly raise, the issue of rough sleeping in Manchester, and the numbers of homeless and rough sleepers in the City Centre, has increased significantly over the last 5 years and we have been working closely with our partner agencies and indeed, homeless people themselves to address these issues.

We know that the Manchester is a city that attracts many people, including those who may come into the city to beg and/or who are homeless. Where people do come into the city from other areas of the UK or further afield, our approach is to try and reconnect them back where possible.   

It can be difficult for members of the public to know who to help or how to help, and our advice is always to direct rough sleepers to the wide range of specialist support services in Manchester.  The website https://streetsupport.net has information about a number of charity and faith based organisations who provide advice and support to homeless people. 


The Council is continuing to invest and develop services to reduce the numbers of people who are homeless and rough sleeping in the city.  Our approach to rough sleeping and begging is to identify if the individuals require support (and are prepared to engage with services). If we cannot assist then we will not accept begging or drug use as acceptable. Greater Manchester Police and MCC officers inspect the city centre on a daily basis and will always challenge anyone begging and ask them to move. In many cases GMP use dispersal orders to make this happen.   

For those who are prepared to engage with services, the Council has a large and well established Homelessness Team who work to offer accommodation, help and advice to anyone who is genuinely homeless in the city. These offers are for supported accommodation run by the Council and other agencies where in-depth assessments of their needs can be made, enabling them to be put in touch with a range of services who can help them lead more independent lives off the streets. The team, along with the various charities we work with, also offer a variety of services aimed at dealing with the various issues that can lead to people sleeping rough. This includes putting them in touch with healthcare professionals, as well as alcohol, drug dependency and mental health experts.

The Homelessness Service also has a Rough Sleeper Team which includes Outreach Workers who identify and make contact with rough sleepers in Manchester. Many rough sleepers have complex issues and histories which may mean that accessing accommodation is not always straightforward. The team will work with these individuals alongside our partner agencies to address these obstacles and help them move off the streets and into appropriate accommodation. If a member of public wishes to report a rough sleeper to the team so that they can make contact and begin supporting the person, the Rough Sleepers Team can be contacted on: Telephone: 0161 234 5339;   Email:  roughsleepersteam@manchester.gov.uk.

Manchester is pioneering a new way of trying to help the homeless. In May 2016 Manchester launched a Homeless Charter which has been developed by a number of groups working alongside people affected by homelessness, with their voices at its core. We know that homelessness is not a problem that the Council can solve on its own; we need all organisations and the public to help us in tackling the issue. Most importantly, we would ask that people do not give to people begging on the streets, but give to an organisation or to a fund like 'Big Change' to help homeless people. More information on the work that is happening in the city with regards to homelessness can be found under the Homeless Charter; information about the Charter and the Action Groups can be found on www.streetsupport.net or on the Manchester City Council website: www.manchester.gov.uk

Whilst Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police engage with and offer support to those who may require it,  we also investigate and take joint enforcement action against individuals who cause anti-social behaviour (ASB) and or/criminal offences in the city centre using both civil and criminal tools to address this behaviour.  This work has included the use of injunctions, community protection notices and criminal behaviour orders both to stop the behaviour from happening but also to ensure that support is offered to those that require it. It has been recognised that there is a need to do more to address the volume of individual in the city and as a result additional resources have been identified to increase the volume of activity to address the concerns you raise.  Additional staff have been recruited and will be in post from mid-September. In order for us to take action it is essential that we receive reports of the behaviour from those that experience or witness it.  Reports can be made to the council on asb.action.team@manchester.gov.uk

6 September 2017

 


Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for Environment and Skills, was asked a question by Jordan Withington who lives and works in Manchester:

​I work at a City Centre store in Manchester and it has come to many employee's attention that when closing time comes around there becomes an influx of parking attendants and CCTV parking vans around the area that workers are being picked up from (King St West & Southgate) as you probably know, the streets surrounding this building are all double yellow lined.  I have recently been doing some research into the rules about double yellow lines and they're quite ambiguous. Some say no stopping, some say no parking and some say no loading so I myself am quite confused about what is right and wrong. However with that being said, I have been told in recent days off a parking attendant that there is no stopping or parking on double yellow lines... so my question is this; where is a safe place for my partner to stop to collect me from work? As mentioned before all roads seem to have double yellow lines, most people are told to move on if they pull to the side to pick someone up (even though they are causing no obstruction). Sometimes I don't finish work until 8pm/10pm which makes me quite vulnerable to be standing on a back street in the centre alone. So I reiterate my question, where is a SAFE place for both me and my partner to stop to enable him to pick me up from work? Hopefully the council can suggest something to benefit myself and the other workers in this situation.

Councillor Angeliki Stogia replied:

Thank you for your recent question in relation to a 'safe' place for you partner to pick you up when you finish work.

I confirm there are exemptions in the traffic regulation orders that permit a driver to stop on a yellow line or in a pay and display bay to pick up or drop off a passenger.  The exemption applies to any yellow line, single and double, as long as there are no kerb blips. 

The parking restrictions in the City Centre are operational 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday, outside of these times a vehicle is able to park in a pay and display bay or on a single yellow line, this includes waiting to pick up a passenger. This includes the pay and display bays on King Street West and Southgate.​  

If you would like to email me (cllr.a.stogia@manchester.gov.uk), I can provide you with an image ​clearly indicating yellow line​s​​, permit boarding and alighting​ and pay and display bays.

​6​ September 2017


Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for Environment and Skills, was asked a question by John Hussey who lives in Manchester:

Are there regulations on the number of antennas and the height of said antennas?

Councillor Angeliki Stogia replied:

Thank you for your question regarding antennas.

Some antennas can be installed without the need for planning permission. Guidance relating to antennas and permitted development rights can be found at:

https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/48/satellitetv_and_radio_antenna

Where planning permission is required, each application will be considered on its merits having regard to impact on the local area.  This impact will usually be a visual one and how an antennas appearance effects neighbours and the street scene.

1 August 2017


Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, was asked a question by James Robert Nightingale:

I live in Cheetwood, and close to me there is a park on Allison Street. Within this park there are two derelict bandstands, and a huge area to play in.  My question is, when will this park be updated, i.e. the repair of the bandstands, etc...?  It's a nice park, though it's partly derelict.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman replied:

The Council manages 163 Parks across the City and we are actively examining ways in which we can lever funding to make improvements to these sites.  We have recently committed £1.5 million through the Clean City fund to make improvements to 56 Parks across the City, however there is still much more to do and we have made a commitment in our 10 Year Parks Strategy to invest in Parks to safeguard the long term future of these facilities.  As part of this programme we will examine with local groups what the priorities are for this park and once this exercise has been completed we will determine what aspects of it should receive investment.

31 July 2017


Councillor Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader was asked a question by Deborah Ward:

Hello I have been researching how the symbol of the bee has been used throughout history, by different cultures, and why it resonates so much with the people of Manchester. I had begun my research prior to the tragic events in May and followed with the rest of the country the amazing effect of how the Manchester Bee symbol united the city. I wondered if there was any recorded information as to why in particular the bee was taken from the Coat of Arms and used in the Town Hall and other buildings around the city in their decorative design? The bees have continued to be a presence in Manchester in various forms, including on the 600 litter bins in 2014, for which I understand the public were consulted as part of the Clean City fund. I would be grateful if you have any further information as to the particular link with Manchester and how it has become so pivotal to the identity of the city, with many thanks

Councillor Bernard Priest replied:

The sources for why the bee was used as Manchester's symbol are anecdotal rather than confirmed.  The bee is used to represent Manchester as the hive of industry, with the citizens as its worker bees.  This idea is closely tied in to Manchester as the birthplace of the industrial revolution (1760-c1840).  There is a school of thought which links this to Friedrich Engels who made an allusion to workers swarming to the mills and factories in the way bees swarm to the hive.

The link below provides some information about the coat of arms, incorporating seven bees, which was granted in 1842, four years after the city was granted its Charter of Incorporation.  This does slightly predate the publication of Engel's "The Condition of the Working Class in England" (published 1845), but is the same year that Engels arrived in Manchester.  It does suggest that the concept of the worker bee was common, and had captured the city's imagination, from at least the 1830s.

http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/download/6738/public_question_from_deborah_ward_-_ref_2354130

28 July 2017


Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader, was asked a question by Peter Grimes:

How do I go about recommending that the city council give the freedom of the city to ARIANA GRANDE. This young woman's response to the Manchester attack has been truly outstanding. I say this as a 60 year old who doesn't particularly like young peoples music.

Councillor Sue Murphy replied:

Please follow the link below which will answer your question.  I think you will be pleased with the action we have taken.

http://www.manchester.gov.uk/news/article/7708/ariana_grande_in_line_for_recognition_as_new_honorary_citizenship_scheme_proposed

22 June 2017.


Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader, was asked a question by Alejandro:

Hello. First of all. I'm not from Manchester. But I'd want to ask something. Keep reading, please. Okay so, first of all. I'm from Spain. I have 17 years old. I'm a fan of Ariana Grande. My question is: Ariana will be awarded with some kind of statue in the city? Maybe give her the key to city / freedom recognition? I mean. What she did for the city is something that really needs to be recompensed. A statue would be the best recompense in my opinion. It's not only me telling this. I have seen like a lot of Manchester citizens saying that and praising her. (Not even teenagers). There's already a petition with +10.000 signs so please. Take a look on giving her a statue & the key to city because what she has done for your city is totally unbelievable, don't you think so? Please, don't ignore my petition just because I'm not from Manchester because your own citizens are asking you for a statue / key to city. Thank you so much from Spain One love Manchester

Councillor Sue Murphy replied:

Please follow the link below which will answer your question.  I think you will be pleased with the action we have taken.  We are also looking at other ways in which we can recognise her contribution.

http://www.manchester.gov.uk/news/article/7708/ariana_grande_in_line_for_recognition_as_new_honorary_citizenship_scheme_proposed

22 June 2017.


Councillor Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of the Council, was asked a question by Ben Clay:

In light of the terrible fire at the Grenfell high rise tower block in London, what actions are Manchester City Council taking to ensure the safety of Manchester residents living in similar housing, and can MCC make public the following information: Which old tower blocks have been retro fitted with sprinkler systems, which have not and what plans are currently in place to do this in other buildings in both the publicly owned, and housing association owned social housing sectors, and the private sector. Which old tower blocks in Manchester have been fitted with external cladding as this seems to be a key component in the Grenfell fire, and what the material composition is of this cladding, if it is similar to that used at Grenfell, and if the most recent research commissioned by DCLG is being acted upon to prevent a similar disaster occurring in Manchester: https://www.bre.co.uk/page.jsp?id=3694 Are 'stay put' policies in place in Manchester high rise blocks, and if these are under review. Are there similar gas mains fitted in stairwells as in Grenfell in Manchester blocks, and what can be done to box these in and add further resilience and protection for residents.

Councillor Bernard Priest replied:

In the light of the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, these are important questions. We're working closely with housing providers, public and private, so that we are thoroughly assured that the appropriate fire safety standards are in place. This covers over a hundred blocks across the city.  

In the first instance, I can say that we are ensuring that the organisations that work with the Council or on behalf of the Council have up to date fire risk assessments and undertake regular inspections of the blocks they own or manage. All of the social housing landlords with high rise blocks have been visiting their properties, retesting fire safety equipment and attempting to reassure tenants and residents who, we understand, are very concerned.

Joanne Roney, our Chief Executive is meeting with the senior staff from the organisations who manage the social housing properties along with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service this week to discuss what action needs to be taken. Similarly the GM Mayor, Andy Burnham, has also called a meeting for landlords and local authorities from across Greater Manchester, which has taken place.. 

We are working closely with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue colleagues to complete our review and will make sure the results are published once completed.

22 June 2017.


Councillor Luthfur Rahman was asked a question by Peter Allen who lives and works in Manchester

Lynda.com have a high number of excellent online video tutorials with a strong emphasis on digital media and coding/web development.  Certain state libraries around the world offer members free access to their courses.  In the UK, Universities do the same for their students.  With all the people on low pay, not to mention homeless people in Manchester, what a great resource this would be to help them get back on their feet and get a proper career.  I think the central library should offer this to its members.  What do you think?

Councillor Luthfur Rahman replied:

Thank you for your suggestion relating to the Manchester Library Service offering content from Lynda.com as part of their online learning resources.  The library service is currently finalising an online learning offer with a major technology provider which it hopes to launch in the coming weeks.  As a consequence we will not at this moment in time be looking to add Lynda.com to our portfolio but will certainly keep the service in mind as we develop our learning offer in the future.

5 June 2017.


Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for the Environment, was asked a question by Lesley Domnitz who works in Manchester:

 
I was nearly run over today by a car turning left out of Clarence Street onto Princess Street and driving through the pedestrian crossing on its crossing phase. Clarence Street has a right turn only sign on its traffic lights. Yesterday, I counted four cars on the run do exactly the same thing. Please could you tell me what is being done to enforce the new traffic system which was introduced recently around Albert Square?
 
Councillor Stogia replied:
 
Thank you for your question.
 
We are aware that there is an issue at this location, and officers have personally witnessed a number of vehicles making this banned turn.  
 
A review of the traffic signs and road markings at this location is currently being undertaken and we have spoken to colleagues in Greater Manchester Police to seek their support in enforcing the traffic regulation that is in place.  
 
We expect to be able to make some changes to the junction shortly, which will make it very clear to motorists that all traffic must exit by turning right onto Princess Street.
 
24 May 2017.

Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for Environment, was asked a question by Daniel Bimpson who lives in Manchester:

What is the Council doing about illegal activity by third party parking operators?  Private Parking Companies have to abide by specific signage and correspondence rules in order to charge for parking and issue "Parking Charge Notices" where people have parked without paying. There is widespread evidence that these rules are usually not adhered to and drivers are being unfairly pursued for fees. Some of these companies operate on land for which the freehold is held by Manchester City Council, including land on which there is no extant planning permission for car parking. Residents of Manchester, and commuters and visitors to Manchester are being unfairly treated by these practices. This appears to be a particular problem in and around the city centre, e.g. New Islington.

Councillor Stogia replied:

Thank you for your question in relation to Private Parking Companies.

Where a Private Parking Company is operating on land where the freehold is held by the Council and there is a lease and a planning permission in place which permits car parking, then the company is not in breach of the lease or planning permission.  

With regards to the conduct of Private Parking Companies operating on land where the freehold is not held by the Council unfortunately, the Council do not have any powers in relation to how private car park companies operate private car parks, unless they are in breach of Planning Legislation.  

Advertisements displayed on car parks may require the express consent of the City Council as Local Planning Authority before display.  It is a criminal offence to display advertisements requiring express consent without such consent.  

Council Officers are happy to review individual sites to confirm whether the associated lease or planning permission allows parking and the planning status of advertisements.   Any identified breach would be investigated further.

The Protection of Freedom Act has placed specific responsibilities on Private Car Park Operators, including setting up an independent appeal service.  The British Parking Association (BPA) have provided the following guidance, which you may find helpful:

Their Web address is - http://www.britishparking.co.uk/Private-land

22 May 2017.


Councillor Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, was asked a question by Mr Philpotts, who lives and works in Manchester:

I can't help but notice the streets are a lot more dirty than they were a few years ago. I have also noticed that there is a lot of bins that are being missed also a lot of litter bins overflowing with rubbish. Gorton streets are really bad with litter weeds and the road side is full of cans and bottles. I was just wondering how MCC feels the contractors are doing because I have noticed a difference and it is not positive. How are MCC going to solve this?

Councillor Nigel Murphy replied:

Thank you for your question.

I am very clear that we want our streets to be cleaner and the city is working hard to improve the environment despite the limited budget available for street cleansing.  I have personally told Biffa that I am not satisfied with their performance and asked them to provide me with an improvement plan in order they meet the standards we require. They have started to make improvements in the cleanliness of the city but I have told them I expect to see more improvement over the next two months and I am reviewing the standards they achieve on a daily basis.  Where you have specific incidents of jobs that have not been undertaken, you should report them on line via www.manchester.gov.uk

However, the standard of street cleanliness is not entirely the responsibility of Biffa. We need to do more to persuade businesses and local people to keep their neighbourhoods clean, increasing recycling and disposing of waste appropriately. There remains a small minority of people that treat their neighbours with contempt by fly tipping or throwing litter on the floor. This is why I have introduced an additional fly tipping investigation team. The team investigate fly tipping across the city and have identified hundreds of people and businesses who throw waste away illegally. We have prosecuted over 50 people in the past year for fly tipping and similar activity and fined over 3,000 more people. I am determined that we continue to take this seriously as we cannot afford to continue to clean up after people and businesses who show no respect for their communities.

Thank you again for showing an interest in keeping Manchester clean. 

22 May 2017.


Councillor Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, was asked a question by Stuart Johnson :

Why does Manchester City always look so dirty and grimy, surely the pavements can be cleaned by jet washing and areas made to look more presentable for tourists and locals?

Councillor Nigel Murphy replied:

Keeping the City Centre clean is a key priority for the City Council and we invest millions of pounds each year through our contractor, Biffa, to clean on a 24 hour 7 day a week basis.  I recognise that despite these issues Biffa need to improve the quality of the service that they provide. The City Council has formally challenged Biffa to improve and they have subsequently invested significant additional resources to ensure that they are meeting the standards we expect of them.

You will be aware that the City Council is under serious financial constraints and there is less resource available for cleaning a City Centre that continues to grow and thrive. This is why we invest in education and enforcement activity to continue to challenge and change behaviours of some businesses and visitors in the City.  We simply do not have sufficient resources to continue to clean up after people who throw litter on the floor or businesses who fly tip on the back streets.

With regard to jet washing pavements, we have a small budget that enables some very targeted street washing in key high footfall areas.

3 May 2017.


Councillor Paul Andrews, Executive Member for Adult Health & Wellbeing, was asked a question by Monica, who lives in Manchester:

I would really like to know what is happening with the ever expanding homeless population.  What implants have been put in place to tackle this? Not only is it not fair on the homeless but it is not fair on the public, Manchester's streets smell like a toilet for the homeless and every shops door has at least one person in.  What is being done about this?

Councillor Paul Andrews replied:

As you rightly raise, the issue of rough sleeping in Manchester, and the numbers of homeless and rough sleepers in the City Centre, has increased significantly over the last 5 years and we have been working closely with our partner agencies and indeed, homeless people themselves to address these issues.  The Council is continuing to invest in and develop services to reduce the numbers of people who are homeless and rough sleeping in the city.

Some people do not want to engage with services, but for those who do, the Council has a large and well established Homelessness Team who work to offer accommodation, help and advice to anyone who is genuinely homeless in the city.  These offers are for supported accommodation run by the Council and other agencies where in-depth assessments of their needs can be made, enabling them to be put in touch with a range of services who can help them lead more independent lives off the streets.  The team, along with the various charities we work with, also offer a variety of services aimed at dealing with the various issues that can lead to people sleeping rough.  This includes putting them in touch with healthcare professionals, as well as alcohol, drug dependency and mental health experts.

The Homelessness Service also has a Rough Sleeper Team which includes Outreach Workers who identify and make contact with rough sleepers in Manchester.  Many rough sleepers have complex issues and histories which may mean that accessing accommodation is not always straightforward.  The team will work with these individuals alongside our partner agencies to address these obstacles and help them move off the streets and into appropriate accommodation.  We now have a number of hostels specifically for rough sleepers to help them in the transition from life on the streets to living indoors.  The rough sleeper team undertake a monthly headcount to understand the numbers of rough sleepers and input into a database with other outreach organisations.  This allows us to monitor numbers, and understand who is on our streets, and what we can do to help each individual as all their needs are different. If a member of public wishes to report a rough sleeper to the team so that they can make contact and begin supporting the person, the Rough Sleepers Team can be contacted on: Telephone: 0161 234 5339;   Email: roughsleepersteam@manchester.gov.uk .

A great deal of work continues to be undertaken by the Council and the many street groups offering food on the streets to homeless people. Manchester's Community Safety Partnership has awarded a grant of £20,000 to be used to co-ordinate and improve the delivery of safe and effective street based services to rough sleepers in the City of Manchester.  The grant has been awarded to Coffee4Craig and Street Support following a successful partnership bid.  This will help to ensure that those sleeping rough are keyed into appropriate services and support. More information on this can be found on the street support site: https://streetsupport.net/ .  We are also trying to move away from offering services to people on the streets and trying to find buildings and spaces where  we can help people in the evenings and weekends in a similar way to the day centres that currently run during the week.  This will help rough sleepers access other services as well as food, for example hot showers, laundry facilities and better advice and support.

Manchester is pioneering a new way of trying to help the homeless.  In May 2016 Manchester launched a Homeless Charter which has been developed by a number of groups working alongside people affected by homelessness, with their voices at its core. We know that homelessness is not a problem that the Council can solve on its own; we need all organisations and the public to help us in tackling the issue.  Most importantly, we would ask that people do not give to people begging on the streets, but give to an
organisation or to a fund like 'Big Change' to help homeless people.  More information on the work that is happening in the city with regards to homelessness can be found under the Homeless Charter; information about the Charter and the Action Groups can be found on www.streetsupport.net or on the Manchester City Council website: www.manchester.gov.uk   This website will also show you the number of charity and faith based organisations we are working with the address this issue of homelessness in the city.

27 April 2017.

 


Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for the Environment, was asked a question by Luke, who lives and works in Manchester:

I am concerned about the safety of the elderly, children and public at the junction of Hardy Lane and Burrows Avenue.  I recently moved in to the neighbourhood, within less than a year, I have observed over 2 accidents, hit the road sign pole.  The streets are very busy in the early morning and afternoon, there are a lot of children and elderly walking to school during this rush hour.  The road sign shows 20 miles per hour but apparently many drivers ignore that road sign.  How to reduce the driving speed on Hardy Lane and Burrows Avenue? Is it installing humps/speed cameras that will reduce the speed? 

Councillor Rosa Battle replied: 

Thank you for your correspondence requesting traffic calming at the junction of Hardy Lane and Burrows Avenue.

We cannot install any vertical traffic calming measures (such as cushions or road humps) along Hardy Lane as you suggest due to the presence of the tram lines. The tram lines also make it difficult to install additional road markings such as "SLOW" or a 20mph roundel to provide more warning to motorists. I have ordered additional 20mph repeater signs on each approach to the junction to remind motorists of the speed.

The installation of new speed cameras is appraised using strict criteria such as average vehicle speeds and the number of accidents along the road.  We have interrogated the personal injury collision records along Hardy Lane (at its junction with Burrows Avenue) and the collision database shows one recorded slight injury collision in the last 3 years.  Therefore the junction does not meet the criteria for installing a speed camera

GMP run many enforcement days of action under the banner of 'Operation Considerate' which has the aim of making all road users 'considerate' of each other and the respective risk. This enforcement is rotated through Greater Manchester and focuses on moving traffic offences.  Since the implementation of the 20mph scheme, there have been 251 recorded offences at School Lane, Didsbury and 30 prosecutions of speeding drivers on Nell Lane. GMP are also working with communities to create speed watch areas.

GMP has developed the Community Speedwatch scheme over the past year, which utilising funding from TfGM, has seen sites set up by community volunteers where the thresholds for regular speed enforcement are not being met.

I shall pass on your concerns regarding Hardy Lane to GMP for them to consider its inclusion in future campaigns.

24 February 2017.

 


Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader, was asked a question by Emmet Cleaver who studies in Manchester.

Are there any opportunities to sit on Manchester City Council's Scrutiny Panels?

I would like some information about possibly participating on the committee panels as I am looking for new volunteering experiences and I have a genuine interest in each of the panels.

I have experience of volunteering in various scrutiny roles and I have previously sat on the Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel at Sheffield City Council and would very much like to help out in whatever capacity.

Councillor Sue Murphy replied:

Thanks for getting in touch to find out more about the volunteering opportunities in Manchester and it's great to know that you want to be involved.

Like most Councils, the membership of Manchester's Scrutiny Committees is elected Councillors and designated co-opted members only. Scrutiny Committees do undertake investigations into specific topics and issues of interest of residents and do consult with experts, community groups and residents as part of their work. All of their meetings are open to the public and are also live streamed and papers for each meeting are published on the Council's website in advance.

There are however lots of other opportunities for citizens to get involved and to play an active role in the city and their local communities: from parks to youth justice through to major events. The Council's website has more information about what's available at the moment http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/200101/voluntary_organisations/5787/volunteer_to_get_more_experience

I hope you find something that suits your interests.

14 February 2017.


Councillor Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council , was asked a question by Dorothy Lucas:

Is there any way we could have Piccadilly Gardens put back to the way us Mancunians knew it? It was such a lovely place to go. We enjoyed going on buses so we could do our shopping in the big stores. But now it's changed to the way it is. No one feels safe travelling into the heart of Manchester. We would like the gardens put back to the way they were. I grew up in Manchester and lived in so many places and I've worked in a few places in Manchester. My favourite store has now become Morrisons. I once worked in what was Woolworths when I left school. So I thought I would ask you this question as I didn't know who to send it to but thought the best place is Manchester Town Hall. 

Councillor Richard Leese replied:

Thank you for your question.

Far from people not feeling safe travelling into the heart of Manchester, the city centre is now busier than it ever has been. For Piccadilly Gardens, sat next to one of our major transport interchanges, that means millions of people passing through that space.

The old sunken garden was great when the sun shone, but was a dark and dangerous place at night.

We need to improve the gardens but in a way that can accommodate far more people than previously used this space.

31 January 2017

 


Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader, was asked a question by Martin Sloan who lives and works in Manchester asked:

Can you make Nobby Stiles a Freeman of the city? He is the only Mancunian to have won footballs World cup and European cup, so should be rewarded.

Councillor Sue Murphy replied:

Thank you for your question regarding Nobby Stiles.

Although there are no plans at present to confer the Freedom of the City on Nobby Stiles, I can confirm that Nobby Stiles was honoured by the Council in May 2016 by the renaming of a street in Collyhurst, in recognition of his life and achievements as a footballer for Manchester United and England. The civic honour came ahead of the fiftieth anniversary of England's 1966 World Cup triumph over West Germany at Wembley. Sudell Street, near to St Patrick's School in Collyhurst, where he went to school and learnt to play football, was renamed Nobby Stiles Drive. The street sign was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Manchester and Nobby Stiles' wife Kay at a ceremony attended by his sons and members of his extended family, as well as Manchester United legends including Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Pat Crerand. Nobby Stiles was unable to attend the ceremony due to ill health.

30 January 2017 


Councillor Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, was asked a question by Mr Hofman who lives in Manchester.

Please could you give me a reason why Greater Manchester has such a permanent problem with street litter. The situation has become worse and worse, year by year. Some streets for example, Waterloo Road or Bury New Road are left full of rubbish all year and there are many people who are bothered about this unbearable state. Is there is a zero policy in the city for prosecuting people for dumping litter?

Why must Greater Manchester be one of the dirtiest cities in Europe? And if you think not, then give me an example of any other European city that always looks like a junk yard.

There needs to be an inspection of all the green areas and brooks in Greater Manchester and you will see the horrendous rubbish that is everywhere. All this is not just about money but about a strong will for radical change in Greater Manchester and high quality street cleaners.

Councillor Nigel Murphy replied:

Thank you for your question.

The City Council takes cleanliness very seriously and understands that it is a major priority for residents and for ensuring that the City's aspirations as a world destination are met. Keeping Manchester clean is partly the city council's responsibility and partly the responsibility of residents and businesses who enjoy our great city.

I acknowledge that we can do more and our contractor can improve their service. I have been concerned by the standard of cleanliness in parts of the city over recent months and have met with our contractor Biffa to set out my expectations. I expect to see an improvement over the coming weeks.

However, we cannot continue to keep the city clean with a limited and much reduced budget without the commitment and support of Mancunians. We will only be able to keep the city clean in the long term if more people recycle and throw rubbish away responsibly and others get involved in improving their environment and taking greater responsibility for their neighbourhood. This is why the City is committed to the "Our Manchester" approach, listening to residents and businesses and providing support for them to enable them to do the things needed to improve their city.

If you would like to get more involved and make a difference to your community then please let me know and I will ask an officer to contact you.

25 January 2017


Councillor Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, was asked a question by M Burns who lives in Manchester.

Why is it, since the council have introduced smaller grey bins, everyone is dumping their rubbish into mine that should not even be put into a grey bin. I have always recycled the correct items in the correct coloured bins and cleaned my bins weekly. I think it is very unfair for residents like myself that believe in recycling and keeping bins clean, that people now put dog waste, soil and other items into my bin that is now heavy and probably won't be emptied because of this.

How do we stop people that do not seem to care where they put their muck.

Councillor Nigel Murphy replied:

Thank you for your enquiry.

We recommend that residents put their bins out on the morning of collection and bring them back into their properties as soon as possible to avoid the bins being used by others. I have asked that an officer speaks to you to discuss your personal circumstances.

13 January 2017


Councillor Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, was asked a question by Jackie Sargent who lives and works in Manchester:

Please can you help and tell me why every order or request I make online for new green waste bags, there is a problem and they fail to arrive. I reorder more and still no bags arrive, this is a frequent occurrence. I want to recycle and do recycle as much as I can, but I sometimes find myself without green bags as they never seem to arrive. My last two requests sent on 21 December and 24 December both which say completed on my online account have failed to turn up and it will be 6 January tomorrow, shouldn't they have arrived by now? Can you advise me, as this is happening almost every time, I have to keep re ordering and hence I run out of bags.

Councillor Nigel Murphy replied:

Thank you for your question.

I understand that sacks have now been sent to you. I am sorry we didn't send you sacks as we should have done after your first order. We have asked residents to recycle food and need to support householders who wish to do so. I am grateful that you look to recycle food and that you have persevered despite our service not being as it should. I have asked that measures are put in place to ensure sacks are delivered promptly once an order is received.

11 January 2017


Councillor Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, was asked a question by Vitalis Mamhende who works and lives in Manchester:

For the past two months I have submitted complaints through the Manchester City Council's online platform about how the council's bin men routinely and unfairly target only our house when they collect bins every Friday morning. They deliberately take and leave only our bins on the next road (Waterloo road). Yesterday (25/11/16 at about 0830hrs) when asked the bin men why they were behaving in such a shameful manner, I was met with insults and threats of physical harm. I would like to know, how long is it going to take for Manchester City Council to act on this seemingly simple matter before it gets out of hand? yesterday your bin men were very rude, arrogant and aggressive towards me for no apparent reason.

Councillor Nigel Murphy replied:

Thank you for your question.

The City Council expects the highest standards from its employees and
contractors such as Biffa. We are here to serve the public and to provide
high quality and responsive services. I am concerned to hear about your
experiences and have asked a senior manager from Biffa to contact you and
investigate what happened.

9 January 2017


Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader, was asked a question by Mr Scott Robertson Gibb:

We want to fly in/out MAN airport and my wife has a disability. She needs to fly with her Assistance/Service dog and we have all the proper paperwork etc. However the airline is telling me it is not possible because of Manchester City Council. However I do not understand why, as I've checked with MAN customer service & IAH customer service airports and they both accept Service/Assistance Dogs. Can you shed any light onto this? It would be a violation of the UK's Disabilities Rights & the USA's Americans with Disabilities Act if it is not allowed.

Councillor Sue Murphy replied:

Thank you for your enquiry. I write to assure you that Manchester City Council's policy position is fully compliant with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, which protects disabled people from discrimination by requiring all providers of goods and services to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people to avoid disadvantage. This may include the acceptance of an assistance/service dog where this can be demonstrated to be a reasonable adjustment, with due consideration to the relevant factors and policies, to remove or reduce disadvantage for a disabled person.

I cannot comment on whether there are other reasons or policies that have led to the airline being unwilling to accept your wife's assistance/service dog as the Council's position is in compliance with the UK legal landscape, which it is reasonable to assume will significantly differ internationally. I can, however, reassure you that this is not a decision that has been made by Manchester City Council.

I sincerely wish you every success in resolving this matter with the airline.

5 January 2017


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