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AGMA/GMCA Scrutiny Pool 14 October 2011

by timpickstone on 16 October, 2011

Metrolink Tram Replacement; I LOVE MCR campaign; Private Sector Engagement

Yesterday was the regular monthly meeting of the AGMA/GMCA Scrutiny Pool (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities/Greater Manchester Combined Authority). This brings together 30 councillors, 3 from each of the 10 districts in Greater Manchester.

This year I am one of two “Co-Chairs” of the Pool, and this month was my turn to Chair.

Metrolink Fleet Renewal
The main item on the agenda was the replacement of some of the older trams on the Metrolink system, with some new trams, identical to the new ones recently introduced.

The item was a “call-in”, which means that it was a decision of the GMCA Executive, which had been called in to scrutiny by five members of the Scrutiny Pool. Five councillors (I was one of them) wanted to examine the proposal in greater detail to make sure taxpayers were getting a good deal. This was the first time in the history of AGMA/GMCA that a decision had been called in by scrutiny.

The item is a commercially sensitive issue, which means that the papers and the discussion are not in the public domain, so I can’t write about the detail here.

I can tell you what has already been reported in the press here and here, that the decision of the Executive was to replace 12 of the old trams with new trams (out of a total of 32 ‘old’ trams).

The decision has now been approved as is reported in this TfGM press release.

I Love MCR Campaign
The pool had asked for a report on the support provided by a number of Greater Manchester agencies to support businesses in the aftermath of the Salford and Manchester riots. Officers from Visit Manchester and Marketing Manchester came to give us a report on the excellent I Love MCR campaign which was brought into action within 48 hours of the riots, with a wide variety of activity over the subsequent three weeks.

Liaison with the Private Sector
The pool had also asked for an update on how AGMA and the Combined Authority works with the private sector. We had a good presentation from Manchester Council’s Chief Executive on the work that has been done to engage with the private sector, and the important role that the private sector has in providing jobs in Greater Manchester in the future.

We had a good discussion about grapheme, the new material developed in Manchester, and how important it was that future research and resources should be in this area.

The pool also considered an updated work programme of the Environment Commission and an update not he development of an Energy Policy for Greater Manchester. All the papers (except the exempt item) are here. Any questions please ask!

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