Manchester City Council

The Council & democracy Economy Scrutiny Committee's Investigations

Our Current Investigations

End of Year Summary of 2017/18

During the previous year, the Economy Scrutiny Committee has considered a wide range of issues within its remit, ranging from the Councils Family Poverty Strategy,  delivering Inclusive Growth and the impact of recent transport investment, to housing affordability, Manchester's visitor economy, the changing nature of the labour market, apprenticeships and the rise in digital innovation and the potential impact this will have on Manchester's economy and labour market.

In June, the Committee received a report which set out the rationale, development and process that has taken place to complete the Manchester Family Poverty Strategy 2017/22.  The report explained how the Strategy supported the delivery of the Our Manchester Strategy and once adopted, how it would provide an overarching framework and priorities for the City Council and partners from all sectors over the next five years to improve outcomes for children by decreasing risk and increasing resilience.  The Committee welcomed the fact that previous comments made by the Committee had been incorporated into the final draft of the Strategy, specifically in relation to smoking, and noted that although there was  no reference to a better health lifestyle from the consultation with residents, a number of the suggestions put forward had underlying wider determinants of health improvement

July's meeting saw the Committee consider a Call In of an Executive Decision to grant a 150 year lease in order to clarify the conditions of the lease, in particular, in relation to the number of affordable homes on the site, given the Council's stated ambition of building 2000 affordable homes a year.  The Committee heard from Officers and the Leader of the Council as to why the decision had been taken and ultimately endorsed the decision but requested that as part of the Committees scrutiny of Inclusive Growth, a broader scope of strategic development is incorporated into this and that following consultation with the Chair of the Neighbourhood and Environment Scrutiny Committee and the Chair of the Resources and Governance Scrutiny the Council’s Affordability Fund would be scrutinised by the relevant Scrutiny Committee.

September's meeting had a focus of all things Greater Manchester, with the Committee looking at the powers and responsibilities of the Greater Manchester Mayor and the Combined Authority, including the governance and delivery arrangements in place to discharge responsibilities, the refreshed Greater Manchester Strategy which built on priorities around ‘Growth and Reform’ and ‘People and Place’ and reflected the things that Greater Manchester residents, businesses and partners had said were important to them and the progress that had been made on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

As Autumn set in, the Committee's focus was directed at transport, both in a strategic context and also around key investments that had been made and what the implications of these investments had been.  In considering the next stages in the delivery of the Greater Manchester 2040 Strategy, the Committee made a recommendation that the Leader, via the Combined Authority, continued to lobby the Government to commit to strategic developments within Greater Manchester and the North.  The Committee also supported proposals of a Greater Manchester Growth Strategy (GMGS) for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) for both Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport which, if adopted, would add to the economic growth anticipated in the Greater Manchester Strategy, the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and the Our Manchester Strategy.

In December the Committee heard from the Professor of Government at the University of Manchester, Andy Westwood, who outlined the changing nature of the labour market and the consequential effects that these changes would have on the required skills needed for future employment.  The Committee raised concerns around Manchester residents who had not grasped or benefited from education opportunities and the implications of the changes to the labour markets for these individuals and also sought to identify what powers Greater Manchester would have to improve the issues identified through the local Industrial Strategy.

In the new year, the Committee decided to set its remaining meetings around particular themes.  These were Construction Skills for the Future and Digital innovation and disruption, the Internet of Things and the potential impact on Manchester's economy and labour market.  The Committee welcomed the opportunity to hear from and question a variety of invited guests with specialist knowledge and expertise in these subject areas.  

The Committee also held a Scrutiny workshop with young people which took place in November 2017.  At this workshop, the Committee met and listened to the views of young people around key opportunities and issues facing young people in Manchester in relation to their progression into employment.  The workshop specifically focussed on three themed areas - Curriculum for Life; pathways through education and into work; and affordability of living and working in the City.  Having separated into smaller working groups to discuss these three areas in more detail, the Committee agreed to the recommendations put forward by the Young People and recommended that in terms of increasing quality opportunities for young people to gain exposure to the world of work, the Council, young people and partners established a toolkit for employers as to what an applicable standard of a work experience placement should contain, which would result in a placement being beneficial to a young person and also look to improve the consistency of a work experience offer across the city.


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 3071 or e mail

Role of the Committee










Our main priority as members of the Economy Scrutiny Committee is to look at the issues that affect the Manchester's economy and how these issues affect the city's residents. We work closely with the Council and its partners to ensure that they are doing everything they can to maximise the benefits for residents from improvements to the economy and to ensure that they are protected in less prosperous times.

Our areas of interest include economic growth, strategic transport, employment and skills development, tourism and the regeneration of neighbourhoods.

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.


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