Manchester City Council

Council meeting

Agenda

Minutes

Minutes: Read the Minutes

1 February 2006

Present

  • The Right Worshipful, The Lord Mayor Councillor Afzal Khan (In the Chair)
  • Councillors Ali, Andrews, J. Ashley, S. Ashley, Barnes, Barrett, Battle, Bethell, Bhatti, Brandy, Bridges, Burns, Cameron, Carmody, Carroll, Chohan, Chowdhury, Commons, Cooley, Cooper, Cowan, Cowell, Cox, Curley, Diamond, Dobson, Donaldson, Evans, Fairweather, Fender, Fisher, Firth, Flanagan, Gallagher, Grant, Green, Hackett, Hall, Harrison, Helsby, Hitchen, Hobin, Isherwood, A. Jones, H. Jones, Judge, Kane, Karney, Keegan, Keller, Leese, Lewis, Longsden, Loughman, Lyons, McCulley, Morrison, M. Murphy, P. Murphy, S. Murphy, Newing, E. Newman S. Newman, O'Callaghan, Barbara O'Neil, Brian O'Neil, Pagel, Parkinson, Pearcey, Priest, Pritchard, Ramsbottom, Risby, Rothery, Royle, Sajjad, Shannon, Shaw, Jeff Smith, John Smith, Smitheman, Stevens, Swannick, Trafford, Trotman, Walters, Wheale, Whitmore, Wilkins, Williams, and Winder.

Present by Invitation

  • Mr A Wright - Independent Member of the Standards Committee

CC/06/1 Urgent Business

The Lord Mayor reported that he had agreed to the Minutes of the Executive on 24 January 2006, and the Minutes of the Standards Committee and Constitutional and Nomination Committee held earlier that morning being submitted and considered as urgent business.

CC/06/2 Dean Manley

The Lord Mayor reported the recent death of Rev. Fr. Dean Manley, a long serving representative of the Diocese of Salford on the Council's Education Committee. Council stood briefly in silent respect to his memory.

CC/06/3 Stonewall Award

The Lord Mayor congratulated members and officers on securing the Stonewall Award for the best civic employer in the country for the second consecutive year.

CC/06/4 Minutes

Decision

Subject to the deletion of Councillor James Ashley from the list of members present during consideration of Item CC/05/79, to approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 7 December 2005. The Minutes were then signed by the Lord Mayor.

CC/06/5 Proceedings of the Executive

The Executive

Proceedings of the Executive on 21 December 2005

Council considered the Executive's recommendations to Council in respect of -

Minute Exe/05/201 Local Development Plan Recommending the Council to - 

1. Approve the Annual Monitoring Report for submission to the Government Office North West, and delegate authority to the Chief Executive to make any subsequent amendments and refinements. 

2. Approve the amendments to the Local Development Scheme, attached to the Annual Monitoring Report.

Decision

1. To approve the Annual Monitoring Report for submission to the Government Office North West, and delegate authority to the Chief Executive to make any subsequent amendments and refinements. 

2. To approve the amendments to the Local Development Scheme, attached to the Annual Monitoring Report.

Minute Exe/05/203 Capital Programme increases Recommending Council to approve an increase in the 2005/06 Capital Programme by £150,000 in respect of Environmental Insurance for Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT) properties, funded from Housing Service's generated capital receipts.

Decision

To approve an increase in the 2005/06 Capital Programme by £150,000 in respect of Environmental Insurance for Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT) properties, funded from Housing's service generated capital receipts.

Council noted the Proceedings of the Executive on 18 and 24 January 2006.

Councillors Leese and Swannick declared a personal interest In Minutes Exe/05/195 as Board Members of New East Manchester. 

Councillor Judge declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Minute Exe/05/197; 198 and 199 which was employment related and withdrew during consideration of these items 

Councillor E Newman declared a personal interest in Minute Exe/06/10 as a Board Member of Willow Park Housing Trust, and Minute Exe/06/13 as a Board Member of Willow Park Housing Trust and Lifestyle Centre Stakeholder Board. 

Councillors Barrett and Barbara O'Neil declared a personal interest in Minute Exe/06/13 as Board Members of Willow Park Housing Trust Councillor Commons declared a personal interest in Minute Exe/06/13 

Councillors Battle and Leese declared a personal interest in Minute Exe/06/16 as members of the Board of New East Manchester Ltd

CC/06/6 Questions to Executive Members

In accordance with Procedural Rule 22 Councillor Paul Murphy, Executive Member for Direct Services, answered a question from Councillor Shannon regarding the performance of Manchester's doorstep recycling service, and Councillor Curley, Executive Member for Health and Social Care responded to a question from Councillor Shannon regarding health and social care portfolio questions submitted under the 'Questions to Executive Members' arrangements.

CC/06/7 Minutes of Overview and Scrutiny Committees

Council noted the Minutes of the following meetings -

  • Children and Young People - 13 December 2005 and 10 January 2006 
  • Community Regeneration - 14 December 2005 and 11 January 2006 
  • Finance and General Purposes - 15 December 2005 and 12 January 2006 
  • Health and Well-being - 15 December 2005 and 12 January 2006 
  • Physical Environment - 13 December 2005 and 10 January 2006 
  • Social Strategy - 14 December 2005 and 11 January 2006

Councillor Cowell declared a personal interest in relation to Minute PE/06/4 as a Board Member of Emerge Recycling.

CC/06/8 Minutes of Committees of the Council

The Minutes of the following meetings were submitted -

  • Constitutional and Nomination Committee - 1 February 2006 
  • Standards Committee - 16 January and 1 February 2006 
  • Planning & Highways Committee - 22 December 2005

Decision

1. To approve the recommendations of the Constitutional and Nomination Committee on 1st February 2006.

2. To note the minutes of the other committees that were acting under delegated powers.

CC/06/9 Business of Joint Authorities

No questions were raised in accordance with Procedural Rule 24 on the business of (a) Greater Manchester Fire and Civil Defence Authority, (b) Greater Manchester (b) Passenger Transport Authority, (c) Greater Manchester Police Authority, and (d) Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority.

CC/06/10 Calendar of Council and Committee Meetings

With the consent of the Council this item was withdrawn.

CC/06/11 Refugee and Migrants Forum

Motion made and seconded

Manchester City Council notes the work of the Refugee and Migrants' Forum, a network of groups and individuals working to empower refugees and migrants in Manchester. Council congratulates the Forum on their efforts in drafting the new Refugee Charter for Manchester (see below) Council endorses the Refugee Charter for Manchester, and in so doing, places on record its thanks to refugee and asylum seekers for the rich contribution they have made to life in the City of Manchester. Council requests the Chief Executive to make the Charter available to Manchester residents in Council buildings.

Refugee Charter for Manchester

Define us not by our differences but by the principles we share.

We are people of courage, ingenuity and perseverance who have been forced to come to seek refuge in Manchester. We are refugees and asylum seekers, exercising our legal right under the 1951 UN Convention to seek safety from persecution in our countries of origin. We include families, lone individuals, men, women and children, young and old, people with disabilities, and unaccompanied minors. We applaud and thank all individuals, public agencies and organisations who have welcomed us and supported us to re-build our lives in the UK. However, the current situation for many asylum seekers and refugees is critical. We see our communities increasingly marginalized, denied or unable to access employment, limited and problematic access to health services and dispersed to highly deprived areas where individuals are isolated, vulnerable and subject to harassment and physical attacks. While refugees and asylum seekers have different entitlements under British law, we ask that the rights in the law be upheld and that our basic, universal human rights be respected. Immigration policies often run contrary to other government objectives including reducing rough sleeping, encouraging employment and creating an inclusive society. We exert all possible effort to positively contribute and positively integrate with our host communities. There is a long history of refugees and migrants making a significant contribution to the life of the city, and current refugees must be recognized as continuing this contribution. Integration is a dynamic and two-way process, placing a demand on receiving societies and the new communities. In order for us to rebuild our lives and fully integrate into society we call for - 

Basic Rights

1. Recognition of the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace; 

2. Especially vulnerable members of refugee communities to be treated with the same care and respect as those from host communities expect and where children are involved, the rights of the child must be paramount; appropriate provisions to be made for refugees and asylum seekers with special needs, such as unaccompanied minors and disabled refugees and asylum seekers; 

3. Service providers within Manchester to recognize that they have a responsibility to ensure that all refugee policies are compassionate, ethically sound and consistent with international legal standards; 

4. Recognition of the right to adequate legal representation to enable us to have a fair and just asylum hearing; 

5. Recognition of the crucial importance of advice and interpretation services in enabling us to realise our rights and contribute to our host community; Healthcare 

6. Recognition that we should have the same access to healthcare as our host community; 

7. Asylum seekers and refugees with mental health needs to have these met appropriately and sensitively and to promote good mental health in acknowledgement of the fact that many of us have been traumatised in our country of origin and that our lives are still stressful and uncertain; 

Housing

8. The right to safe, appropriate accommodation. This should be suitably located, well managed, in good repair and with adequate support to enable us to resettle and rebuild our homes; 

9. The recognition that enforced destitution is an inhumane policy which is harmful and dangerous for the victims and damaging for the host communities; 

Education

10. Schools and colleges to encourage integration through valuing each child regardless of background and recognising that each child and young person can play a fundamental role in educating others and promoting greater understanding of the issues affecting refugees; 

11. Recognition of the emotional needs of refugee children and the importance of a stable and safe environment in order to assist in their development; 

12. Appropriate educational provision to allow adult learners to access educational provision, especially ESOL provision; 

Employment

13. Recognition that we want to work, and have no desire to become an economic burden, and that current legislation, which prevents asylum seekers from working, has a detrimental effect both on the individuals concerned and the city as a whole and on community cohesion and integration

14. Encouragement and promotion of full scale participation in employment preparation and personal development for asylum seekers

15. Encouragement and promotion of appropriate training and employment opportunities for refugees to enable them to participate in the economic, social and cultural life of the city

Community Cohesion and Social bonds

16. Respect as law-abiding people who should not be suspected or accused of a crime due to our immigration status; 

17. The right to live in safety without fear of persecution or physical attacks from racist abusers; 

18. Recognition that irresponsible media coverage hurts real people and that media representation should therefore be sensitive, fair and truthfully reflective of the positive contribution we make to our host community; and 

19. Support for our community organisations and refugee organisations in order to increase peoples' confidence and ability to integrate on equal terms, to promote respect for the cultures, arts and languages that we bring and to increase inter-cultural understanding.

Amendment moved and seconded - To delete everything after the second sentence and add - Council notes the ongoing discussions between Council officers and the Forum to refine the draft and authorises the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Executive Member for Health and Social Care, to sign the Charter at the conclusion of these discussions.

The Amendment having been put, and the Council having voted thereon, the Lord Mayor declared that the Amendment was CARRIED.

The amendment was then put and carried as the substantive motion.

Decision

Manchester City Council notes the work of the Refugee and Migrants' Forum, a network of groups and individuals working to empower refugees and migrants in Manchester. Council congratulates the Forum on their efforts in drafting the new Refugee Charter for Manchester. Council notes the ongoing discussions between Council officers and the Forum to refine the draft and authorises the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Executive Member for Health and Social Care, to sign the Charter at the conclusion of these discussions.

CC/06/12 Stonewall Award

Motion made and seconded -

We congratulate the City Council on achieving the prestigious Stonewall Award for the best civic employer in the country, for lesbian and gay employees. We are proud that for over twenty years the City Council has championed the rights of gay and lesbian residents.

The Motion being put the Council voted -

For the Motion (83) 

Councillors Ali, Andrews, S. Ashley, Battle, Bethell, Bhatti, Brandy, Bridges, Burns, Cameron, Carmody, Carroll, Chohan, Commons, Cooley, Cooper, Cowan, Cowell, Cox, Curley, Diamond, Dobson, Donaldson, Evans, Fairweather, Fender, Fisher, Firth, Flanagan, Gallagher, Grant, Green, Hackett, Hall, Harrison, Hitchen, Hobin, Isherwood, A. Jones, H. Jones, Judge, Kane, Karney, Keegan, Keller, Leese, Lewis, Longsden, Loughman, Lyons, McCulley, Morrison, M. Murphy, P. Murphy, S. Murphy, Newing, E. Newman S. Newman, Barbara O'Neil, Brian O'Neil, Pagel, Pearcey, Priest, Risby, Rothery, Royle, Shannon, Shaw, Jeff Smith, John Smith, Smitheman, Stevens, Swannick, Trafford, Trotman, Walters, Wheale, Whitmore, Wilkins, Williams, and Winder.

Against the Motion (0)

The Lord Mayor declared that the Motion had been CARRIED.

Decision

We congratulate the City Council on achieving the prestigious Stonewall Award for the best civic employer in the country, for lesbian and gay employees. We are proud that for over twenty years the City Council has championed the rights of gay and lesbian residents.

CC/06/13 Unitarian Chapel, Upper Brook Street, Manchester

Motion made and seconded -

The Unitarian Chapel on Upper Brook Street is a Grade 11* listed building of considerable historic interest. The Church has been owned by the City Council for approximately 30 years. This Council regrets that, during this period, the Church has been allowed to deteriorate. This Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to bring a report to the Executive to see what can be done to save this building from demolition.

Amendment moved and seconded - Delete from "This Council regrets…" to the end, and insert: Three years ago the tenants of the former Sunday School annex and their architect submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund but unfortunately this was unsuccessful. Towards the end of the summer last year, Building Control inspectors reported that the building was in a dangerous condition and, with the agreement of English Heritage, a decision was taken to make the building safe by removing the roof. The City Council commissioned independent structural advice in 2001 and 2005 and will continue to take expert advice before making any decisions about the future of the building. The amendment being put and the Council having voted thereon, the Lord Mayor declared that it was CARRIED. The amendment was then put and carried as the substantive motion. 

Decision

The Unitarian Chapel on Upper Brook Street is a Grade 11* listed building of considerable historic interest. The Church has been owned by the City Council for approximately 30 years. Three years ago the tenants of the former Sunday School annex and their architect submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund but unfortunately this was unsuccessful. Towards the end of the summer last year, Building Control inspectors reported that the building was in a dangerous condition and, with the agreement of English Heritage, a decision was taken to make the building safe by removing the roof.

The City Council commissioned independent structural advice in 2001 and 2005 and will continue to take expert advice before making any decisions about the future of the building.

CC/06/14 Harmonisation of VAT

Amendment made and seconded -

This Council notes -

1. The architectural heritage of Manchester, which makes such a contribution to the character of the city; 

2. With pride, the regeneration of parts of the city, especially following the devastation caused by the bomb, which says so much about the spirit of Manchester; 

3. Concern that property developers are not being attracted to re store and develop significant buildings in the city whilst there is a shortage of applications to build new developments; 

4. Regrets that outside conservation areas there is little that the Council can do to prevent demolition of buildings of character in local areas; 

5. Interest in the final report of the Urban Task Force which spells out the progress made since its first report but highlights what still has not been done, and 

6. Disappointment that the government has done nothing to encourage repair, restoration and conservation of existing building by continuing to charge VAT on these developments at the same rate as on new developments in green field sites.

This Council resolves -

To make urgent representations to the government, pressing for the harmonisation of the VAT charged on repair, restoration and conversion with that on new build development as recommended by the Rogers Urban Task Force, and to stress the importance of this for the continued urban regeneration of cities like Manchester.

Amendment moved and seconded - Delete 3 In 5 insert after "first report" the words "which it describes as cause for celebration". In 6 delete all and replace with "That though government has done much to encourage and support repair, restoration and conservation of existing building including a number of tax incentives more can be done". After 'This Council resolves' delete all and replace with "To urge government to respond positively to the recommendations in Towards a Strong Urban Renaissance". The amendment being put and the Council having voted thereon, the Lord Mayor declared that it was CARRIED. The amendment was put and carried as the substantive motion. 

Decision

This Council notes -

  • The architectural heritage of Manchester, which makes such a contribution to the character of the city; 
  • With pride, the regeneration of parts of the city, especially following the bomb; 
  • Regrets that outside conservation areas there is little that the Council can do to prevent demolition of buildings of character in local areas; 
  • Interest in the final report of the Urban Task Force which spells out the progress made since its first report which it describes as 'cause for celebration' but highlights what still has not been done; 
  • That though government has done much to encourage and support repair, restoration and conservation of existing buildings, including a number of tax incentives, more can be done".

This Council resolves -

To urge government to respond positively to the recommendations in 'Towards a Strong Urban Renaissance'.

CC/06/14 Anti-social behaviour

Motion made and seconded -

Council notes -

1. That the government has launched yet another campaign against anti-social behaviour, much of which is a re-statement of earlier policy launches

2. That many earlier projects, such as Warden Services and Community Safety Officers are struggling due to lack of long term funding

3. That Greater Manchester Police face a funding deficit of over £11M, whilst proposals to re-organise police and probation services will reduce further local accountability and control; 

4. Proposals to close homes containing anti-social individuals will put a responsibility on the City Council to ensure that evicted families are re-housed, thus moving a problem around the City, not solving the situation

5. That proposals to reduce benefits from families could lead to an increase in crime, and

6. That there seems to be very little by way of additional resources to implement any of the ' Respect Agenda' without stripping earlier projects of their resources.

Council resolves -

a. That the Council will work to ensure that existing services such as the Warden Service and Community Safety Officers will be given long-term secure funding to enable recruitment and long-term planning

b. That the Community Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee will investigate and report back on the implications of this 'Respect Agenda' for the City Council

c. That the City Council urgently lobbies the Home Office for the Greater Manchester Police to be fully funded.

Amendment moved and seconded - Delete all and replace with the following - Council notes: 

1. The Government has launched the next phase of its continuing campaign against anti-social behaviour - The Respect Agenda, which is welcomed whole-heartedly by this Council and most Manchester residents.

2. That, the Respect Agenda reflects and enhances the integrated approach pioneered by Manchester City Council in challenging anti-social behaviour and tackling crime and disorder in our City.

3. That we will continue to develop and fund with the support of residents, police and other partners a neighbourhood approach, which is appropriate, flexible and effective through Local Action Partnerships and other appropriate bodies.

4. 'The Respect Agenda', recognises the importance of the responsible parents, offers a network of intensive family support systems and sanctions for households evicted for anti social behaviour that refuse help.

5. The Liberal Democrats in Manchester are yet again opposing legislation and measures that challenge anti social behaviour and appear to take the side of the minority of troublemakers against the vast majority of law-abiding citizens.

This Council resolves

1. To endorse the decision of the Executive (Minute Exe/06/12) of 18th January 2006.

2. To recognise the significant improvement in police performance and continues to give support to the Chief Constable and members of Greater Manchester Police Authority in their continuing campaign for the better use of police resources, the development of neighbourhood policing, and additional funding for policing in Manchester.

3. To be clear that this Council supports law-abiding citizens against thugs and criminals who cause havoc, crime and disrespect in our neighbourhoods. The amendment being put and the Council having voted thereon, the Lord Mayor declared that it was CARRIED. The amendment was then put and carried as the substantive motion.

Decision

Council notes:

1. The Government has launched the next phase of its continuing campaign against anti-social behaviour - The Respect Agenda, which is welcomed whole-heartedly by this Council and most Manchester residents.

2. That, the Respect Agenda reflects and enhances the integrated approach pioneered by Manchester City Council in challenging anti-social behaviour and tackling crime and disorder in our City.

 3. That we will continue to develop and fund with the support of residents, police and other partners a neighbourhood approach, which is appropriate, flexible and effective through Local Action Partnerships and other appropriate bodies.

4. 'The Respect Agenda', recognises the importance of the responsible parents, offers a network of intensive family support systems and sanctions for households evicted for anti social behaviour that refuse help.

5. The Liberal Democrats in Manchester are yet again opposing legislation and measures that challenge anti social behaviour and appear to take the side of the minority of troublemakers against the vast majority of law-abiding citizens.

This Council resolves:

1. To endorse the decision of the Executive (Minute Exe/06/12) of 18th January 2006.

2. To recognise the significant improvement in police performance and continues to give support to the Chief Constable and members of Greater Manchester Police Authority in their continuing campaign for the better use of police resources, the development of neighbourhood policing, and additional funding for policing in Manchester.

3. To be clear that this Council supports law-abiding citizens against thugs and criminals who cause havoc, crime and disrespect in our neighbourhoods.