Last month was there regular meeting of Bury Council’s Cabinet. Opposition Leaders are allowed to attend the meeting but not vote. Councillor Cristina Tegoloreports:
Corporate Finance Monitoring Report
The Leader and Cabinet Chair, submitted the Cabinet Financial monitoring report. The report informs Members of the Council’s financial position for the period April 2019 to June 2019 and projects the estimated outturn at the end of 2019/20. The revenue budget projections highlight the fact that budget pressures exist in some key areas and it will be necessary to continue to maintain the high level of scrutiny, control and support around the Budget Recovery Boards and to further develop the savings pipeline. The report projected an overspend at the end of the year of £0.996m.
Greater Manchester Full Fibre Programme
The Leader of the Council submitted a report setting out details of the Greater Manchester Full Fibre programme. The report provided an overview of the capital funding available for GM of £23.8m. The funding will connect full fibre to over 1,300 GM Public sector sites. These include Local Authority, GM Fire and Rescue, Health and Social Care partnerships (CCGs) sites across the region.
The Cabinet agreed to an investment of £469k capital from Bury Council plus additional capital to fund a dedicated Project Manager post on a 2-year fixed term basis.
Revised Supplementary Planning Document 6 – Alteration and Extensions to Residential Planning
The Leader of the Council submitted a report setting out details of the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) 6. The document provides more detailed guidance to support Unitary Development Plan Policy H2/3 and sets out a range of requirements for alterations and extensions to residential properties.
The main thing we raised at the meeting were concerns about lack of provisions for electric vehicles. We invited the Cabinet to explain to Bury citizens, who are applying for amendments to their garages and driveways, who is eligible to apply for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme and how to access it.
Our worry is that the changes should consider safety and include detail information for EV Homecharge. Bury citizens should take advantage of government grants to help fund the cost of a specially designed home charging point, which is safer than charging from the mains. I am not sure these issues have been addressed sufficiently.
Residents Parking Review
The cabinet has agreed the details of a new annual residents parking scheme:
- Over 50% of the properties affected must be in favour of a scheme for it to be implemented.
- A minimum of 10 properties must indicate support to initiate the Council to investigate a residents parking scheme request.
- The costs and fees associated with all residents parking schemes are reviewed annually as part of the budget setting process with the objective of being cost neutral.
- Each scheme will be reviewed every 5 years to ensure that they continue to be supported by the local community and demonstrate value for money.
Hopefully, the revised residents parking policy will provide a more comprehensive guidance that officers can follow. Our worry is that costs and fees associated with residents parking scheme could raise considerably.
Purchase by the Council of 458 Bury New Road, Prestwich (Istambul Restaurant)
The Leader of the Council submitted a report setting out details of plans to purchase the freehold of a commercial property in Prestwich has emerged. Because of commercial information, part of the proposals were considered as an ‘exempt item’ which we cannot report back on.
The property is located on the site where the Council is planning to develop the new Prestwich Village scheme. The Cabinet agreed to utilise the fund established to create an ‘Investment Property Acquisition Fund’. Our worry is that the purchase of this commercial property is not based on a regeneration strategy. Indeed, the Council hasn’t consulted with Prestwich residents yet and key stakeholders haven’t prepared a detailed proposal that justifies an expenditure of approx. £500K.
More information and the full papers for the meeting are here.