Last Wednesday was the regular meeting of Bury Council’s Cabinet. This is the meeting made up of the eight Labour cabinet members. Opposition Group Leaders are invited to attend but not vote – Councillor Tim Pickstone reports:
Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan
We have previously reported on the Greater Manchester proposals for a Clean Air Zone charging proposals where lorries, vans, taxis and buses which had polluting Diesel engines would need to pay a daily fee to drive in Greater Manchester. (£100 per day for a lorry or bus, £7.50 per day for a taxi or van).
The main thing we raised at the meeting was concerns about the impact on the proposals on buses and bus passengers.
At the moment around 2,000 buses are in use every day in Greater Manchester which do not meet the clean emission targets. That is a charge of £76 million a year just to buses. The plan is to retrofit buses (ie put a new engine in them) even if it was feasible to do this to even 1,000 buses in the next year is doubtful (and this was cost millions).
Our worry is that the changes will mean that:
– bus services will be cut back by the operators
– bus fares will go up so that operators can re-coup the £100/day fee
– many bus services are ‘subsidised’ by Greater Manchester tax-payers, so we will have to pay the £100/day fee, which will probably mean that less services can be subsidised.
I am not sure these issues have been addressed sufficiently.
Mutually Binding Agreement
The Cabinet considered the ‘Mutually Binding Agreement’ between Bury Councils and various NHS bodies that operate in Bury to operate as single Local Care Organisation. This means that many current Councils services will be run alongside current NHS services.
The plan is that this will make services more ‘joined up’ for local people. If it does that then good!
Mayor of Bury 2020-21
Next year it is the turn of the Labour Group to nominate the Mayor of Bury. Their nomination is Councillor Trevor Holt who has represented East Ward in Bury for 36 years. Trevor is a retired Postman, who will be one of the very small group of people to have served as Mayor twice, having previously been Mayor of Bury in 1996-97.
Manchester Airport CarPark Investment
There was a private and confidential item about Manchester Airport which I am not allowed to report on. However the local press has reported on it, so you can read all about it there!
More information and the full papers for the meeting are here.