Agenda and minutes

Economy and Growth Committee
Thursday, 17th March, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe CW1 2BJ. View directions

Contact: Rachel Graves  Tel: 01270 686473 Email:  rachel.graves@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

38.

Apologies for Absence

To note any apologies for absence from Members.

 

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors J Barber and S Brookfield.  Councillors A Critchley and C Naismith attended as substitutes.

39.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

In the interests of openness, in relation to Item 5 – Unlawful Eviction and Harassment Policy,  Councillors M Goldsmith declared that he owned property in Cheshire East which was rented out.

 

40.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 311 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2022.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2022 be approved as a correct record.

41.

Public Speaking/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Council’s Committee Procedure Rules and Appendix on Public Speaking, set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes each to speak, and the Chair will have discretion to vary this where they consider it appropriate.

 

Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days’ in advance of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Councillor M Houston referred to the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ sponsorship scheme and the expectations on local authorities to be able to provide social care support, a system in place for safeguarding and checks on the accommodation being offered. With the numbers involved and the shortness of time, she asked if there was a disparity between what the Government was promising and what was feasible for local authorities to actually deliver.  The Director of Growth and Enterprise agreed to provide a written response

 

 

42.

Unlawful Eviction and Harassment Policy pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To consider and approve the Unlawful Eviction and Harassment Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Unlawful Eviction and Harassment Policy.

 

The Unlawful Eviction and Harassment Policy had been developed to ensure that residents knew their legal rights and the support they could access if they were or were threatened with eviction.  The Policy identified a prompt, clear and co-ordinated response by the Council, in partnership with its customers, landlords, and partners agencies to deal with allegations of harassment and unlawful eviction.

 

The Committee asked how residents would be made aware of the policy, especially vulnerable persons.  In response it was stated that awareness would be through promotion and education.  The Policy would be promoted on social media, copies of the Policy to be produced in various languages, through working with landlords of private rental properties and of houses of multiple occupation and their licensing, and through contact with various Council’s departments.

 

The Committee unanimously RESOLVED:

 

1.         to approve the Unlawful Eviction and Harassment Policy, as set out in  appendix 1 to the report, and

 

2          to authorise the Director of Growth and Enterprise, in consultation with the Chair of the Economy and Growth Committee, to make further amendments to the Policy to ensure ongoing compliance with the law and guidance from the Government.

43.

Notice of Motion: Starter Units pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To consider the Notice of Motion ‘Starter Units’.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report in response to the following Notice of Motion which had been moved by Councillor A Kolker and seconded by Councillor P Groves at the Council meeting on 20 October 2021 and was referred to the Economy and Growth Committee for consideration:

 

“This Council, in order to support the Borough’s post-pandemic recovery, commits to providing a wide range of affordable rental units for small and micro business start-ups.”

 

Councillors A Koker and P Groves spoke on the motion.

 

The report detailed the current and planned activity by the Council to develop an evidence base to help build a business case and secure investment for small and micro business accommodation. 

 

The Committee unanimously RESOLVED:

 

1          that the Council undertake demand analysis and research to identify demand for start-up units, potential sites and to develop the business case for investment in additional start-up and innovation space.

 

2          if research shows there is sufficient demand, to develop the business case for public sector investment in new business start-up space and an incubation support offer and use this to develop up investment plans/funding bids to secure the necessary capital and revenue funding.  This could be via sources such as the Levelling Up Fund or UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

 

3          in addition, to use the business case work to develop a pilot for a ‘Technology and Digital Incubation Centre’ in Crewe, using funding already secured through the Future High Streets Fund.

 

4          to work with private sector landowners, developers, and investors to promote the development of new start-up space, co-working and innovation spaces in key towns.

 

44.

Carbon Neutral Programme: Building Standards and Carbon Offset pdf icon PDF 234 KB

To consider and approve the adoption of a Cheshire East low carbon build standards and carbon offset proposals.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the Carbon Neutral Programme: Building Standards and Carbon Offset.

 

In May 2019 Cheshire East Council committed to being a carbon neutral council by 2025 and to influence carbon reduction across the Borough and in May 2020 the Council adopted a Carbon Action Plan which set out how this would be achieved.

 

Among the recommendations accepted was for the Council to reduce carbon from buildings by adopting the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) ‘excellent’ or equivalent standard for new buildings and to aim for the highest BREEAM standard achievable for refurbished council buildings. 

 

The Committee unanimously RESOLVED:

 

1          to approve the adoption of a Cheshire East low carbon build standard for new build and refurbished buildings valued up to £10 million in addition to the reductions planned as part of the Council’s estates transformation project and confirms the adoption of BREEAM Excellent as the standard for all building projects in excess of £10 million.

 

2          note that Council is planning to plant trees on suitable council owned agricultural land holdings as part of the Carbon Neutral Action Plan 2020-2025 commitment to develop natural climate solutions such as tree planting and peatland management on at least 100ha of Council owned land.

 

3          note that Council is planning energy insetting projects including two solar arrays under development within the Borough and the need for land to be made available for the delivery of these projects.

 

45.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To consider the Work Programme and determine any required amendments.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Committee’s work programme.

 

It was reported that a virtual briefing meeting would be held for committee members during week commencing 28 March on two matters – Cultural Framework, and Housing Development Framework.

 

The item on Support Employment Strategy had been put back to January 2023 to allow for consultation and would also be considered by the Children and Families Committee and Adult and Health Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Work Programme be noted.

46.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended on the grounds that it involved the likely discussion of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3, 5 and 7a of Part 1 of the Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and the public interest would not be served in publishing the information.

47.

Update on Regeneration Project

Minutes:

In accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chair had agreed that this item be considered as an item of urgent business on the grounds that the matter could not wait until the next meeting.

 

The Committee received an information update on this matter.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the information update be noted.