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Bury Council’s Executive Committee 9 November 2011

by timpickstone on 10 November, 2011

Learning Disabiltiy Meal Provision, Development Plan, Community Resettlement Service
Last night was the regular meeting of Bury Council’s Executive Committee. This is made up of the eight Executive members from the ruling Labour Group, and the two opposition leaders (myself and the Conservatives) as sit on the end as non-portfolio members (we really do get made to perch on the end….)

The most important business of the evening were exempt items, which means that any members of the press or public had to be excluded and I am not allowed to tell people about them. The rest of the business is below:

Meal Provision at Learning Disability Day Centres
The Council proposed to close the kitchens at three Learning Disability Day Centres which presently sell hot meals (£3.50 each) to around 40-50 people. Three staff are involved who will hopefully be redeployed elsewhere. A number of alternative ways of providing meals are being found – I asked if these could be put in place before the 1 January changeover, and was assured that this was possible.

Community Resettlement Service
A couple of months ago the Council started to consult on moving its Community Resettlement Serivce to the Chapelfield estate in Radcliffe. At the time many local people had concerns, but work has been done over the last couple of months to work with local people – on the face of it this seems to have gone down well and the Committee agreed the move.

Corporate Finance and Performance Report
We considered the quarterly Finance and Performance Report. I raised a couple of points:

– I asked what would happen to some very significant ‘demand pressures’ going into next years budget (c £1 million in adult care, £1.5 million in children’s care, and £0.5 million loss of rents mostly at the Millate Centre). I was told that any overruns would need to be found by departments from savings elsewhere – which doesn’t seem like an easy task given the scale of the challenges for next years budget.

– I asked about two Performance Indicators which the Council is performing less well on – educational achievement for Children in care, and for BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) children. I was told that the number of children was very small, and this could result in sharp changes in figures. Apparently for children in care, there is a very good level of educational improvement, which is perhaps more important than achievement.

Unitary Development Plan
We agreed the Unitary Development Plan for Bury for consultation over the next eight weeks. This sets out how Bury plans to develop over the next 15-20 years, with plans for housing, employment land, green space and retail.

Previously the plan had been ‘withdrawn’ because of worries about legal challenge. I was particularly interested in the retail options around Prestwich, which I think we should look at more during the consultation period.

We also received without discussion the Annual Report to Tenants, and a report about a Greater Manchester utility company works scheme. You can read the papers for the meeting here. Any questions please ask!

Tim

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