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May 2019

Good Morning,

I would firstly like to reflect on the tragic events in Sri Lanka and the senseless attack on it’s people, churches, Christian worshippers and visitors. On behalf of the City Mayor and residents of Salford, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected.

We understand the grief of the people of Sri Lanka and of those families that tragically lost loved ones whilst visiting this beautiful country from across the world.

It will be the second anniversary of the devastating attack at the Manchester Arena on 22nd May which changed people’s lives forever. Our thoughts and prayers remain with families and friends who lost loved ones and those still suffering physically and or mentally. We stand in solidarity with all those countries affected by such horrific acts by those that seek to destroy our way of life.

I would like to take a minute to pay tribute to George Andrew Darlington who died following a short illness a few days before the local election.

George was standing for the Conservative Party in Walkden South and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time. I would especially like to send our condolences to his partner Anne who also stood as a candidate in the recent elections. Both were much loved and well respected members of the community.

I would like now to congratulate all of our new councillors on their election victories. I am sure that you will serve the people of this city to the best of your abilities and I look forward to working with you all. I would like to thank everyone involved, in particular the elections team for running such a well organised local election.

Members of the council will be aware that Peter Taylor lost his seat at the local elections and will appreciate how hard local councillors work for their residents in the best interests of the people they serve. Peter was dedicated to the people of Irlam and I know he will continue to work hard and campaign for the area. Peter will be very much missed.

It is also important that we recognise the Islamic holy month of Ramadan with Muslims observing the fast and religious obligations and making plans for the festival of Eid at the end of this month.

I would like to send our very best wishes to everyone observing Ramadan.

Once again, Salford returned a Labour Council. I want to thank the people of Salford for focusing on the local issues that matter to them. As a Labour Council with Paul Dennett leading they can be assured that we will continue to stand up for those that are unable to protect themselves against a government that continues to ravage the very services our most vulnerable residents need as a lifeline.

However this is our AGM and I want to use this statement as an opportunity to raise awareness of the positive work that despite such cuts we have done in Salford:

The City Mayor and Councillor Kelly, Lead Member for Housing continue to develop programmes in line with the City Mayor’s priority to tackle the need for more affordable homes.

We have almost 6,000 households on the council’s housing register and it is not an understatement to say we are in the middle of a housing crisis. The delivery of affordable units in the city has been running at approximately 280 per year against a need of approximately 630. We are looking at all possible ways to reduce this gap in conjunction with a range of housing partners across the council.

This includes the potential for the council to deliver new homes and we are working on a number of projects with a view to seeing some schemes on site in 2019.

Overseeing the Dérive Business Plan is the Chair, Councillor John Merry. We are excited that building work has started on Duchy Road to provide a mix of affordable and social rented houses. This is the first step to delivering a pipeline of truly affordable and socially rented houses. The City’s Partners understand how vital new social housing is to the city and the City Mayor and Councillor Kelly recently attended the launch of Arcon Housing Group’s new social housing development in Boothstown.

It is unbelievable in this day and age that there are 39 bids made for each affordable home advertised.

Providing affordable homes to local people and help create new communities across the city remains at the heart of our priorities.

I am delighted to report that the bid led by Salford Council officers has been successful in securing significant funding from the recent bidding round for the Rapid Rehousing Pathway. (692k)

This is a key part of the council’s approach to ensure that those who sleep rough, or are at risk of rough sleeping, rapidly get the wrap around support they need, from the streets through to sustained accommodation. Our thanks go to Supported Housing, the Housing Advice Team and Councillor Kelly for this successful bid in helping to tackle rough-sleeping and homelessness in our city.

A Bed Every Night has worked to deliver accommodation with support to every rough sleeper in the city-region every night of the week since the start of November.

Overall, 1,423 separate individuals have been accommodated. Of those, 480 people – over a third – have moved on to a more suitable housing solution. Locally, Salford has accommodated 291 people and successfully supported 78 into a suitable housing solution over the same period. The Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham has announced that the Bed Every Night scheme will be extended to 31st May 2020.

The Supported Housing Team continues to deliver this phenomenal service for some of our most vulnerable and challenged members of our communities. Salford’s approach is being held up as Best Practice in Greater Manchester.

Members will be aware that this week is Mental Health Awareness Week. We have all been touched in some way by the devastating effects of poor mental health. The loss of our much loved former Councillor, Paul Longshaw reminds us of how important it is that we support each other and ensure there are services for people experiencing mental health issues.

Paul Longshaw’s daughter Ella will be running in the Salford 10k in September to raise funds in her dads memory for CALM (The campaign against living miserably). Ella’s story is on the Salford CVS website and I would urge people to support Ella and the organisations dedicated to helping our most vulnerable residents.

In 2017/18 around 36,300 adults are estimated to have depression and or anxiety in Salford. Of those 2,620 adults in Salford had depression recorded for the first time. These figures are likely to be an underestimate because not everyone who could benefit has sought help. Around 10% of 5-16 year olds in Salford have sought help for mental health problems.

The most common presenting factors identified by young people as affecting their mental health and emotional wellbeing were bullying, money management, running away from home, general anxiety and stress and threats of violence.

Many of the risk factors associated with mental ill health are high in Salford. These include lifestyle factors such as smoking or excess alcohol consumption, material deprivation, poor physical health and demographic factors such as ethnicity.

Salford has an increasingly diverse population, with high levels of deprivation and high levels of need for mental health services. Given that it is mental health Awareness Week I know Councillor Hamilton may want to say a few words following this statement.

We all know what an incredible job foster carers do for our vulnerable and troubled young people. The continued recruitment of foster carers is vital in providing much needed stability and it is important to acknowledge their commitment to the children and young people of Salford. Cabinet Members have supported and approved a 40% pay rise in their skills payment.

We would encourage new foster carers to come forward to enable us to increase the choice of placements for children and young people who need support and a loving home. We currently have 226 fostering households, caring for 336 children but we desperately need more carers each year to meet demand.

In March I gave my annual report on the Anti-Poverty work including our intended focus on Pension Poverty. It is important that we continue to raise awareness of this very serious issue

According to up to date Department for Work & Pensions statistics, 40% of those that can claim Pension Credit nationally do not and this rises to 50% for couples, with only 10% of eligible people within BAME populations claiming. Each of the 1.3m households who don’t take up Pension Credit lose on average £2500 a year. Applying this to the Salford population, up to 5180 people are not taking up the offer of Pension Credit who are entitled to it.

This could be more than £12m in unclaimed Pension Credit city wide.

The council’s Health Improvement Service are working in collaboration with our Welfare Rights and Debt Advice team, our Council Tax Benefits team and DWP to deliver an outreach and engagement campaign to encourage take up of the Pension Credit by our residents who may be missing out.

We are continuing to grow the city. New development continues to bring in jobs, business opportunities and homes.

A few examples include:
The Offices at One New Bailey are already let (Magic circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) and now one of Manchester’s oldest global legal practices, Eversheds Sutherland has agreed a pre-let at Two New Bailey which is due to complete next year.

Work has also started on Three New Bailey, to create a regional centre for Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue (HMRC). Around 2,400 civil servants will move to their new home by spring 2022 which will front a new, high quality public square.

Members will be aware of the developments taking shape at RHS Bridgewater Gardens. As well as providing a spectacular garden, RHS continues to work alongside the council and is committed to delivering benefits including:

• Jobs: the project will create more than 140 jobs in the garden and a further 180 in the local economy by 2029 and there will be opportunities for local people to learn new skills through training, apprenticeships and volunteering

• initial direct investment of £30m will add £13.8m per year to the local economy by 2029

• Currently 22 green space projects are being delivered through the RHS Garden Bridgewater Community Outreach team:

• 5 community green space projects have been funded through GrowWell, a collaboration between the RHS Garden Bridgewater, Salford CVS and Salford Clinical Commissioning Group.

• 7 community gardens supported through the RHS Greening Great Britain initiative including Friends of Chimney Pot Park, Langworthy and Seedley in Bloom, Worsley Woods Action Group and Peel Patches in Little Hulton

Many council services continue to provide excellent services and given it is annual meeting thought it would be good to highlight a few achievements:

• We have retained the Customer Service Excellence accreditation for our Bereavement, Grounds Maintenance, Refuse and Recycling, Vehicle Management and Pest Control Services.

• Our Bereavement Services team has achieved the Association for Public Service Excellence Best Team of the Year award against all other council services across the country.

• Our School Meal Service have provided 2.5million healthy nutritional meals to Salford Children in the last 12 months

• Our Parks Team have achieved 5 Green Flag awards for our key parks and cemeteries across the city, recognising quality maintenance and management of these sites.

• Our Refuse and Recycling revised collection services will see over a million pounds saved in a full year and residual waste reduced by over 4,000 tonnes and this has increased recycling by 5 % in the last 12 months

• Our Vehicle Management Services keep the councils fleet of vehicles and the city moving with their expert team of mechanics.

• During litter pick week 52 groups from schools to friends of parks and community groups took part all over Salford and collected over 1,500 bags of litter, It was a fantastic response from wonderful community minded people.

As there is no meeting of full council before Armed Forces Week I would like to raise awareness of the two events we have planned to celebrate our armed forces community and their families.

Firstly Salford’s Armed Forces Flag Raising Ceremony at Swinton Town Hall on Monday 24th June from 10.30am. Salford’s Armed Forces Day takes place on Saturday 29th June starting with a Parade from Dukes Drive, Monton down Parrin Lane to Winton Park from 10.30am.

Following the Parade there will be a family fun day at Winton Park. The fun day will feature entertainment, mini rides for young children and there will be lots to see and do around the beautiful park throughout the day

I would also like to announce a new housing support service for Members of the armed forces community and their families.

The City Mayor has pledged funding for 12 months and Rebecca Holden from the supported tenancy team is using her experience to offer help to anyone who has ever served with the armed forces as part of Salford City Council’s commitment to supporting armed forces personnel and their families.

I started this statement by congratulating Members and thanking them for their dedication in wanting to make a difference for our residents across Salford.

I want to end by thanking our exceptionally hard working officers and the teams on the front line who go the extra mile on a daily basis; our teachers and school staff, social workers, carers, welfare rights, health improvement workers, refuge collectors, road cleaners and all of our officers including those the public may not see but are there supporting others including members, the vital support staff, our member services and Mayoral Office team, they are exemplary professionals and vital in keeping the cogs of this massive wheel turning.

Thank you for listening I am happy to answer any questions but remind you that there is an opportunity to ask Lead Members later on the agenda so please save any service specific questions until then.