We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We asked

The purpose of this registration form is to gain your consent, as a training recipient, to providing your information for the purposes of the delivery of the Bee Smart Project and to provide you with details of how we will handle your data.

You said

Through your responses we were able to identify your local authority and preferences

We did

We have made a note of all responses and will use this data for the purpose of the Bee smart project.

We asked

With this survey, we wanted to understand behaviours towards buying and getting rid of disposable vapes. 

You said

We recieved a broad range of responses from accross all the boroughs and ages.

We did

The responses will be used as insight to shape future campaigns covering disposal of vapes

We asked

'Places for Everyone (PfE) is the long-term plan of nine Greater Manchester districts for jobs, new homes and sustainable growth. The plan sets out a strategic policy framework for the nine boroughs and helps these areas to meet their local housing and employment needs by identifying land and infrastructure to support growth.

Since its submission the appointed Inspectors have been examining the submitted Plan to determine whether it meets the tests of soundness defined in national planning policy and meets all the relevant legislative requirements.

As part of the examination the Inspectors raised questions, matters and issues that were prompted by their review of the Plan and which probed issues of soundness and specific issues raised during the consultation on the Publication Plan 2021.

Following this process, the Planning Inspectors identified a number of ‘Main Modifications’. The consultation asked whether the proposed modifications were needed to make the plan sound and whether or not their wording was effective.

You said

There were a total of 177 responses to the consultation. This includes all responses made via the consultation portal and by email and post.  

Following on from the consultation in 2021 the plan for new homes, jobs, and sustainable growth in Greater Manchester, is now undergoing a public examination by the Planning Inspectorate.

All duly made responses to the consultation have been published - All responses to the Main Modification consultation

The Inspectors will consider the representations made before finalising their examination report.  Further hearing sessions will not usually be held, unless the Inspectors consider them essential to deal with substantial issues raised in the representations, or to ensure fairness. 

We did

News on the next stage for Places for Everyone will be published on our website Places For Everyone - Greater Manchester Combined Authority (greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk)

We asked

We asked you to provide feedback on how we can improve our programme in 2024.

You said

Your feedback mentioned how we can improve our sessions through the day of delivery, times and content.

We did

We have analysed the responses and will be incorporating your feedback into the development of the programme we run in 2024

We asked

Greater Manchester’s economic importance, diversity and infrastructure make for a complex picture in terms of the risks that we have to plan for, help prevent, and look for opportunities to improve. Our city-region’s constantly changing landscape creates an operating environment that regularly and rapidly shifts. We must respond to these changes by evolving our approach, to ensure firefighter and public safety remains at the forefront of our plans.

Keeping our residents safe is not just about firefighters responding to emergencies. It's also about investing in and enhancing our service and our communities. This means continuing to ensure that all our people have the tools, equipment, and training they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. It also means equipping and empowering all areas of our city-region to reduce the risks of fires and other emergencies through our prevention and protection work. 

During 2022/23 we carried out a Fire Cover Review as we do every four years in line with the development of our Fire Plan to ensure we have the right resources in the right place at the right time with the right equipment and training.

Alongside this, we also carried out a Special Appliances Review to assess the effectiveness of our special appliances that carry dedicated equipment and technology for use in specific situations.

It is the recommendations from these two reviews that we asked our people, our communities and our partners for their views on. 

You said

Taken from the Executive Summary - (full document available here - https://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire-plan/fire-plan/fire-cover-review-consultation-2023/) 

For internal engagement (initially from Monday 8 May to Monday 5 June, but then continuing throughout the subsequent external engagement period), managers from across the Service held 140 sessions with their watches or teams. Each manager provided feedback about the main issues raised in these discussions and any questions that had been asked.

During the external engagement period (Monday 5 June to Monday 24 July), 830 people responded to an online survey, leaving a total of 1100 comments about the proposals.

Opportunities were also provided for people to respond in-person. Public events were held in the areas most directly covered by the proposals Offerton in Stockport, and Sale and Partington in Trafford. A total of 180 people attended these three events.

Senior GMFRS officers also attended Council Scrutiny meetings in both Stockport and Trafford, where they outlined the proposals to local Councillors and took questions about the potential local impacts.

Feedback on the proposals was also received from a number of key stakeholders, either through the online survey or separate letters / emails to our service. This included submissions from the Fire Brigades Union, Trafford and Stockport Councils and their individual councillors, and local MPs.

Two petitions were also received which, combined, had signatures from 2,043 people.

The headline feedback from this internal and external engagement is that:

  • The proposals to move to “day crewing” in Sale and Offerton fire stations are strongly opposed by local residents and their representatives. This opposition is driven largely by concerns and fears for safety, including for older and more vulnerable residents and in response to local risks and developments.
  • The day crewing proposals are also opposed by many GMFRS staff and the Fire Brigades Union. Safety concerns shared with residents are also added to by questions over the deliverability of the proposed staffing model.
  • There is support for the addition of two new fire engines (or appliances) for the city region to be located in Manchester – but this support turns to opposition when it comes at the cost of a move to day crewing in other areas. Many respondents spoke of “robbing Peter to pay Paul” and feelings of unfairness of reducing cover in one part of Greater Manchester to increase cover in another.
  • The Enhanced Rescue Unit proposal received mixed reviews from both the public and staff. While the broader range of incident response provided was often welcomed, there were questions about the cover levels provided, identified locations of the units and deliverability of the staffing model.
  • There was significantly less feedback on the Special Appliance Review than on the other proposals. There was broad support for the proposals outlined, but with some limited localised opposition – predominantly from staff – from some areas where appliances are proposed to be moved elsewhere.
  • Consulting on the Fire Cover Review proposals as a single combined package has complicated analysis of how people feel about each of the proposals individually. Where there is opposition to the Enhanced Rescue Station, additional fire engine and Special Appliance proposals, accompanying free text comments often (but not always) link this back to the individual’s opposition to the day crewing proposals.    
  • Overall there is recognition that GMFRS is facing a difficult challenge in achieving its aims within the resources available to it. A number of responses spoke of the proposals being driven by financial pressures, while enthusiasm for the two additional appliances was tempered by a belief that this was not ‘new’ cover but replacing resources previously removed. People called for GMFRS and the Mayor to seek additional funding to keep communities safe, rather than changing current service levels to deliver within what is currently affordable. 

We did

The outcome of the GMFRS Fire Cover Review was discussed at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority meeting on Friday 29 September. It can be viewed here - Agenda for Greater Manchester Combined Authority on Friday, 29th September, 2023, 10.30 am - Greater Manchester Combined Authority (greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk) 

Headlines -

  • Introduce one additional wholetime fire engine at Manchester Central Community Fire Station – taking our total fleet from 50 to 51 pumps.
  • Invest an additional £340k in Prevention and Protection activities – targeting more resources to keeping people safe from emergencies before they happen.
  • Implement Enhanced Rescue Station proposals at Leigh and Ashton Community Fire Stations – strengthening our ability to respond to increasing numbers of complex emergencies.
  • Implement all proposals from our Strategic Review of Special Appliances – Implementing new technologies and ensuring specialist technical equipment is best located for where it is most needed across the city-region.
  • Crews will continue to be based on station 24/7 and day crewing arrangements will not be progressed at Sale and Offerton fire stations.

We asked

GMCA decided to consult on a proposed new approach to cultural investment from 2023 onwards. The previous GMCA culture fund period had been in place for three years. Across this period, a portfolio of 35 GM cultural organisations and 14 multi-organisation projects were supported.

Greater Manchester is rightly proud of its cultural offer. Culture and heritage are some of the biggest reasons residents like and are proud of living in Greater Manchester.

The COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on Greater Manchester’s cultural landscape. The Centre for Cultural Value’s Culture in Crisis report earlier this year highlighted well the impacts on the workforce, organisations, and audiences.

You said

During the consultation period, the culture consultation gathered over 11,799 impressions on twitter with 1,358 people going to the culture webpages on the GMCA website to find out more. We had over 200 people go through the full consultation questions with 52 people submitting completed responses.

This survey was supported by both online and face to face engagement sessions. We had 58 attendees to online consultation events and 28 attendees to in person events, giving 138 responses in total. Attendees ranged from freelancers and sole traders to larger cultural organisations.

84.6% of respondents agreed the investment priorities set out in the GM Culture Strategy remain fit for purpose. 79.6% of respondents agreed with the proposed investment approach set out above, and 78.9% of respondents agreed this revised approach better reflects GM’s cultural landscape. Comments from respondents reflected many of the comments from stakeholders, particularly emphasising the importance of supporting the sustainability of the culture sector in GM, and welcomed the two new areas for investment proposed, namely Inspire and Collaborate.

We did

We issued a press release on the outcome of the consultation which can be found here - Greater Manchester Culture Fund opens for applications - Greater Manchester Combined Authority (greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk)

There was also a report paper finalising the future of cultural investment went to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority meeting on 28 October 2022. The full report can be found here – https://democracy.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/documents/s23432/13%20New%20Culture%20Fund%20approach%20281020220.pdf. The consultation section of the report reads -  

Given the proposed changes to cultural investment in Greater Manchester proposed within this paper, GMCA Culture Team officers have consulted on the proposed new approach set out above, as well as testing if the current investment priorities, as set out in the GM Culture Strategy, are still fit for purpose.

The previous priorities were to:

  • Contribute to the recognition of Greater Manchester locally, nationally and internationally to attract new investment, new visitors and new talent to Greater Manchester
  • Make a positive contribution to improving skills and employability of residents in Greater Manchester, including support for the creative education, expression and ambition of young people across Greater Manchester
  • Play a strong role in developing strong and inclusive communities and an improved quality of life for residents, particularly those residents at risk of disengagement or social isolation
  • Be able to evidence how the project will make a positive contribution to improving residents’ health and well-being and meeting our equality duties.
  • Provide paid employment and opportunities for freelancers, individual practitioners and organisations within the Greater Manchester

One area of concern raised during consultation was the timeline to bid into the pillars. It was suggested that the primary focus should be to look to have Spirit and Sustain application process in place from Autumn 2022 so successful organisations can deliver from April 2023. For both Inspire and Collaborate, to allow potential bidders more time to develop proposals and bring together consortia for Collaborate, it was suggested that the application process for these opens from Spring 2023. This was built into the timescale.

We asked

We asked people whether they agreed with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s proposal to raise the policing element of council tax by an extra £0.83 a month for a Band D household, or 55p per month for a Band A property, over the course of 2022/23.

Thanks to the support of local residents, the money raised through the police precept since 2017 has enabled the Mayor to recruit over 990 more police officers with GMP.

The proposed additional funding would enable us to further invest in frontline services.

You said

There were 1096 responses to the consultation on GM Consult.

Overall, 23% of respondents said that they support, in principle, an increase of £0.83 a month or more as part of their council tax payment to help Greater Manchester Police invest in neighbourhood policing. 30% thought it should remain the same and 44% thought it should be reduced.

We did

Last year, instead of an increase of £15 a year for a Band D Property, The Mayor and Deputy Mayor proposed to reduce this to £10 more a year for a Band D property.

On 31 January 2022, The Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel voted in favour of raising the police element of council tax by £0.83 a month for a Band D property.

This extra funding, along with the central government grant, will support:

  • The transformation of the GMP contact centre that deals with 999 and 101 calls. The investment will increase staffing levels and flexibility to ensure calls are answered quickly and police officers are sent to those in need immediately.
  • 438 additional police officers, with 60 of them dedicated to road safety which will allow travel safe officers to focus on other policing such as public transport safety.
  • Continuation of the new Operation Avro days of action. These days, which will take place in each area of Greater Manchester, will see a surge of officers and specially trained teams dealing with issues communities tell GMP they want to see dealt with.
  • A community messaging system that Neighbourhood Policing Teams will use to inform local communities about what they are doing and that the public can use to get more involved in working with local police officers to identify issues of concern within the locality.

The current police precept for a Band D property is £218.30 which will increase to £228.30 a year and a Band A property will go up from £145.53 to £152.20.

Even with the increase, the Greater Manchester police and crime precept will remain one of the 10 lowest out of the 42 police and crime areas of England.


Description automatically generated

Read more:

We asked

Places for Everyone (PfE) is the long-term plan of nine Greater Manchester districts for jobs, new homes and sustainable growth. The plan sets out a strategic policy framework for the nine boroughs and helps these areas to meet their local housing and employment needs by identifying land and infrastructure to support growth.

The consultation asked whether the plan, meets something referred to as the ‘tests of soundness’. These include whether the plan promotes economic growth and makes provision for development; whether it is backed up by robust evidence; whether the plans are based on effective and achievable policies; and whether they are consistent with policies at a national level.

Members of the public were also asked whether the nine local authorities have provided the necessary evidence and complied with the requirements arising from the duty to co-operate, which places a duty on local planning authorities to engage constructively with one another to maximise the effectiveness of local plans.

You said

There were 1949 responses to the consultation on the consultation portal - GMconsult in 2021. Other responses were received via email and post.

Following on from the consultation in 2021 the plan for new homes, jobs, and sustainable growth in Greater Manchester, is now undergoing a public examination by the Planning Inspectorate.

We did

Starting on 1 November, a series of hearings are taking place where Planning Inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State will test whether the plan in sound and legally compliant. This means that the Inspectors have to be satisfied that the plan is positively prepared, justified, effective, and consistent with national policy, and that it meets legal requirements including the duty to cooperate.

The sessions will also hear representations from individuals, community groups and organisations who submitted comments during the consultation on the publication plan in 2021.

Almost 200 requests were made to participate in the hearings, and around 25 participants have been invited to attend each hearing session. Members of the public also have the option to attend and observe proceedings in person. All sessions will be streamed live online and will also be made available on the GMCA website.

We asked

We want Greater Manchester to be one of the best places in the world for people to grow, up, get on and grow old – and we are on a journey to achieve that. But the prevalence of gender-based violence represents a major barrier to achieving our ambition.

That’s why we have produced a Gender-Based Violence Strategy, which sets out a comprehensive, responsive programme of service delivery to enhance the safety of women and girls, while preventing gender-based violence from occurring in the first place and challenging the attitudes and inequalities that enable it.

We launched a public consultation on our Gender-Based Violence Strategy on 22nd June. The consultation consisted of a questionnaire asking questions in respect of each chapter, and closed on 1st August.

You said

The questionnaire was complemented by a number of focus groups and one-to-one interviews with victims and survivors of gender-based violence. 150 responses to the on-line questionnaire were received. Consultation also involved: the Greater Manchester Women and Girls Equality Panel; Disability Panel; Older People’s Network; and a sub-group of the Race Equality Panel.

The public consultation ran from 22 June to 1 August. The various results and themes from the consultation are detailed in our consultation report, published in September 2021, which can be found here: Gender-Based Violence Strategy - Response to Public Consultation (PDF, 242KB)

We did

Our final strategy was published on Friday 24 September 2021.

Alongside this, there will be a bespoke plan created to address how to effectively meet the needs of male victims and survivors. This will cover acts of violence, abuse and exploitation in which men or boys are the victims, and in which their gender, sexuality and/or intimate relationships are motivating or prevailing factors.

And there will also be a new Gender-Based Violence Board established, which will drive the implementation of the Strategy over the next 10 years.

We asked

We asked people for their views on a range of environmental issues to help shape Greater Manchester’s first Local Nature Recovery Plan.

This Nature Recovery Plan will be a blueprint for the future of Greater Manchester’s natural environment and local wildlife. It will set out what needs to be done to restore declining species and habitats, and give nature the best chance to recover. Specifically, the plan will:

  • Map the most valuable existing habitats for nature
  • Agree priorities for nature recovery
  • Help identify where funding is most needed
  • Help us sustainably manage and restore nature
  • Identify new green opportunities for the city-region

You said

We received 1087 responses to this consultation.

90% of respondents felt that a range of measures to help nature recover in Greater Manchester were “fairly important” or “very important”. These measures ranged from creating more urban green space, to introducing new areas of protected sites and protecting vulnerable wildlife and habitats.

A significant majority of responses also felt that Greater Manchester was facing a range of challenges with respect to nature, including air quality, climate change, species decline and encroachment of new developments.

97% of respondents were “fairly concerned” or “very concerned” about the future of nature in Greater Manchester. We also received a high number of suggested sites that respondents felt could be suitable for nature recovery.

We did

The results of the survey have been reviewed by the Nature Recovery Plan project team, and along with our ongoing engagemnet work with stakeholders, have been used to formulate the Greater Manchester Nature Recovery Plan. 

This is almost complete and the Plan will be delivered to Defra by 28th May 2021. 

We asked

Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM) is the public facing brand of GMCA Waste & Resources.

We work with local councils in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford to inspire and encourage the residents of Greater Manchester to manage their waste and recycling responsibly. We aim to help residents to see the value of waste and the real benefits that can be achieved by wasting less and recycling right. Wigan is not part of R4GM because it administers its own disposal arrangements.

In 2020, we launched a campaign in Oldham called ‘Buy, Keep, Eat, Repeat’. This was focused on helping residents to reduce their food waste, and recycle any food waste they did have, instead of putting it in their general waste bin. Every household with kerbside wheelie bin collections in Oldham received a leaflet in November 2020, and the campaign was further supported by a dedicated webpage on both Oldham council’s and R4GM’s websites, and social media posts with tips on how to reduce food waste. In February 2021 we carried out a survey to understand people’s behaviours around food waste, food recycling and what would help reduce the amount of food they throw away. We also asked some questions about the Buy, Keep, Eat, Repeat logo and campaign messaging, as well as questions about other national/local food waste campaigns. This survey was targeted at Oldham residents who have food and garden bins as part of their kerbside collections.

You said

We had 451 responses in total. 75% of people said they generally put food waste in their green bin or food caddy. Those who said that they generally recycled their food waste as opposed to putting it in the general waste bin, were then asked if they use caddy liners: 69% of those said that they did use caddy liners.

For those who said they generally put food waste in their grey general waste bin, we asked them why this was. 18 people selected ‘other’ from the list of options; the most common answer was that the green bin did not get emptied so they put food in their grey bin instead.

We also asked people what would motivate them to recycle their food waste if they didn’t already recycle it. The most popular answer here was if it saved space in the grey bin, followed by ‘if it helps the environment’. For those who already recycled their food waste, the main motivation behind them doing this was because they want to recycle as much of their waste as possible.

We also asked people if they thought various items could be recycled in their green bin. A large majority of people were correct about which bin they should put each item. However, 52% of people thought compostable packaging could be recycled in their green bin/food caddy when it should go in the grey general waste bin.

59% of people said that the reason they throw away food at home from time to time was because the food was out of date.

When asked what they do to help reduce the amount of food they throw away at home, 84% of people said that they check what is left in the fridge and cupboards before they do another shop. 74% said they make a list when they go shopping. 73% said they freeze leftovers.

We then asked what support you may need to reduce the amount of food thrown away. The most popular answer was tips on how to store food so it lasts as long as possible (35%). 33% said tips on what food can be recycled and how to recycle food waste. 20% said recipes and cooking tips.

The survey also showed that most people were ‘very concerned’ about the environmental impact of producing and transporting food, and ‘fairly concerned’ about the environmental impact of disposing of food waste.

Finally, we asked for feedback on our Buy, Keep, Eat, Repeat logo and general campaign approach. 66% of people said they quite liked the logo. 59% also said they quite liked the approach of the campaign being split into 4 sections.

We did

The results of the survey were collated and will be used to develop our future work around food waste.

Some of the feedback received has helped us to tailor our messages further when posting about the Buy, Keep, Eat, Repeat campaign on social media. For example, for the question about what support is needed to help reduce food waste, most people selected tips on how to store food. Additionally, the third most popular answer was recipes and cooking tips. Therefore, future posts will focus more on the ‘keep’ and ‘eat’ sections of the campaign. As people also requested more support with tips on what food can be recycled and how to recycle food waste, there will be messaging about how to dispose of compostable packaging. Most people were ‘very concerned’ or ‘fairly concerned’ about the environmental impact of food waste. Further to this, helping the environment was a motivation for some people to recycle their food waste. Therefore, future messaging around food waste will link to climate change through facts and statistics, to show that reducing your food waste on an individual level can help fight climate change.

For more information about our current campaigns, please visit: https://recycleforgreatermanchester.com/community/ or search #BuyKeepEatRepeat on Twitter.

We asked

We asked Trafford residents their views on a joint Recycle for Greater Manchester and Trafford council plastics campaign called ‘Got to Be A Bottle’. The aim of this survey was to see if people had seen the campaign leaflet, sticker, or advertisements, and whether seeing the information had changed their behaviour when it came to plastic recycling in their black mixed recycling bin.

The survey also aimed to find out where people would usually go for information if they were unsure of what could or could not be recycled.

Respondents were asked about:

  • Which bin they would put various items in
  • If they had seen any recycling information in the last 12 months
  • Whether the Got To Be A Bottle leaflet, sticker and adverts had changed their behaviour
  • Where they look for recycling information if they are unsure of how to recycle something
  • If they had any other comments about recycling in their black bin
  • How they found out about the survey

You said

We received 336 responses to this consultation.

Recycling in your bin

Over 90% of respondents showed us that they were already recycling correctly in their blue paper and card bin, black mixed recycling bin and green food and garden bin.

However, tissues seemed to cause some confusion as 24% of respondents were putting used tissues into their blue paper and card bin instead of their general waste bin.

The overall results suggest that those who completed the survey where aware of which types of plastic could and could not be recycled in their black mixed recycling bin.

Recycling information

Within the last 12 months 48% of respondents had seen a recycling information bin sticker, 42% had seen information on a leaflet and 27% could remember that they had seen information on social media channels.

Got to Be A Bottle campaign

Only 5% recalled the recycling Got to Be A Bottle campaign bus stop advertisement, however 14% did remember receiving the recycling campaign leaflet and agreed that it changed their recycling habits. 16% recall seeing the campaign bin sticker and felt that it helped them improve their recycling.

Most respondents who used the opportunity to tell us about recycling in Trafford commented on plastics recycling, for example:

‘You should be allowed plastics that have same pet symbols on trays that is same as plastic bottles or on plastic that say it can be "recycle" on label.’

‘Would like to be able to recycle plastic tubs and trays’

We did

We have passed on the results of the survey to Trafford Council

Trafford Council will use the results of the survey to help inform and improve future waste and recycling campaigns, promotions, and engagement. They will continue to use social media, bin stickers and leaflets to support their recycling campaigns. They will also be working with Recycle for Greater Manchester to increase the influence of their recycling messages through social media live events, as respondents are looking for recycling information on social media platforms. 

Trafford Council have recognised that the issue of plastic recycling is of interest to many residents, and to make sure that residents get up to date information about how plastics are recycled and processed they have linked the Council’s website directly to Recycle for Greater Manchester’s website. This website provides users with an explanation of why we only accept plastic bottles and what happens to other plastic items that are put into general waste bins.

To find out about plastic waste and recycling please visit What happens to my plastic?

As a direct result of the survey Trafford Council have improved the waste and recycling pages on their website to ensure that it is clearer to a wider range of users.

To view their updated pages please visit Bins and Recycling in Trafford

We asked

Greater Manchester Independent Inequalities Commission’s Call for Ideas asked for suggestions on how to tackle inequality in Greater Manchester. The survey also asked for comments on current inequalities, particularly those highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, given that many of these inequalities are deep-seated and often generational in origin, respondents were invited to describe these longstanding inequalities, and to suggest how local resources might be deployed to help redress them.

The survey questions explored the following areas:

  • economic inequality
  • democratic decision-making, power and voice
  • good employment and adult skills
  • education and young people
  • democratising asset ownership
  • health inequality
  • universal basic services
  • structural racism
  • the key actions needed to tackle inequality in Greater Manchester, and the key barriers to doing so

You said

In total, we received 120 people responses to the online survey.

You told us that the current UK economic model helps to embed inequality, and that Greater Manchester should adopt a fairer model that addresses spatial inequality and targets investment towards disadvantaged areas and groups. Decision making needs to be representative, collective and inclusive of all communities, with more diversity and proper, ‘bottom-up’ co-production.

You said that access to employment, and particularly to ‘good work’, is essential to prevent the impacts of the pandemic further widening existing inequalities. Recruitment practices need to enhance the diversity of workplaces so that they reflect the wider community. Greater Manchester should incentivise responsible employers, who treat their workers well regardless of background, pay fair wages and offer flexible working. The living wage was felt to be a good way to effect change, especially through public sector procurement practice; zero-hour contracts are generally low pay and poor-quality, and reform is urgently needed. In particular, young people need targeted employment support, and the ongoing challenges faced by people of colour and those with disabilities need to be addressed.

You were clear that investment in skills was needed, with inadequate digital skills identified as a key barrier to improving employment opportunities, and digital exclusion a central factor in embedding inequality across all age groups. Learning mentors, more use of library facilities and extra-curricular provision were advocated to support children and young people. More broadly, greater investment in further education and apprenticeships would bring significant benefit, as would a wider variety of vocational training, particularly if co-designed with learners. Alongside, tailored mental health support is required, particularly for young people who have struggled during the COVID-19 crisis.

In response to our question on democratic ownership and business models to reduce inequalities, you suggested empowering local communities by promoting community ownership. Business support approaches to resource co-operatives and social enterprises would enable community asset and wealth building, helped by schemes to encourage local residents and public sector procurement to ‘buy local’.

You said that equal access to quality health and care services was required to address health inequalities. Better representation in the health and care system was a common theme, including targeting employment in the sector from under-represented communities, and involving people with lived experience in service design. Many potential ‘universal basic services’ are key determinants of physical and mental health and wellbeing: you wanted all Greater Manchester residents to have a right to affordable housing, childcare, transport and digital connectivity. Most particularly, action is needed to improve quality, choice and security in the rental sector, and to address homelessness and rough sleeping.

Many of you stressed the impact of structural racism in embedding inequality for Greater Manchester’s ethnic communities. Reform is needed to ensure better representation in leadership roles, and to test policies for their impact on all residents. The intersection between race and class inequality was highlighted: many of our poorer residents are also people of colour.  Language barriers need to be addressed by ensuring that everyone can access information and services, and have their voice heard, regardless of the language they speak. Meaningful outreach and mentoring opportunities were also felt to be good ways to bring about positive change, as was more comprehensive curriculum content on racism in schools. 

You identified underfunding and austerity-linked cuts as drivers of inequality in recent years. Alongside the unequal distribution of wealth and assets across Greater Manchester, this was exacerbating polarisation between areas and residents with resources and those without. 

We did

The Independent Inequalities Commission looked at the responses and discussed them whilst were considering its recommendations. Many of the responses chimed with what people were saying directly to the Commission, which gave weight to the ideas and has meant that many were picked up in the recommendations made in the report.

Furthermore, the Commission was able to directly recount some of the survey responses in its report, as evidence of how the Call for Ideas has shaped the content. Commission members felt that it was important to show how their thinking had been influenced by the responses that local people had taken the time to submit.

The report also provides case studies and examples of the great work that is happening across Greater Manchester to tackle inequalities.

The Greater Manchester Independent Inequalities Commission would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond and helped influence its report.

We asked

We asked people whether they agreed with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s proposal to raise the policing element of council tax by an extra £1.25 a month for a Band D household over the course of 2021/22.

Thanks to the support of local residents, the money raised through the police precept since 2018 has enabled us to invest in 667 extra police officers, 40 additional call handlers and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) automated telephony system technology to improve the 101 service, and investment in frontline officers through clothing, footwear, training and equipment.

The proposed additional funding would enable us to further invest in frontline services and deliver:

  • 325 extra police officers
  • a new approach to safeguarding with 150 officers to keep our most vulnerable victims safe
  • a new city centre team concentrating on violence reduction
  • a pilot programme to ensure that a crisis worker responds alongside a police officer to reports of rape and serious sexual offences
  • mentoring for young people involved with or at risk of becoming involved in gang activity
  • continuing to fund a mental health tactical advice service
  • road safety initiatives including piloting community-led Speedwatch schemes

You said

There were 502 responses to the consultation on GMConsult.

Overall, 34% of respondents said that they support, in principle, an increase of £1.25 a month or more as part of their council tax payment to help Greater Manchester Police invest in neighbourhood policing, 30% thought it should remain the same and 31.5% thought it should be reduced.

We did

Instead of an increase of £15 a year for a Band D Property, The Mayor and Deputy Mayor proposed to reduce this to £10 more a year for a Band D property.

On 29 January 2021, The Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel voted in favour of raising the police element of council tax by £10 a year for a Band D property. 

The extra funding will support:

  • Funding for training and equipment for 325 new officers
  • A new approach to safeguarding with 150 officers to keep our most vulnerable victims safe
  • Initiatives to reduce death and serious injury on the roads, supporting conventional enforcement with a more localised approach to educate drivers, including pilots of community led speed-watch schemes.

Read more:

£10 police precept increase will help fund hundreds of extra police officers

We asked

COVID-19 is having significant impacts on the lives of residents and the city-region of Greater Manchester as a whole. The nature and extent of these impacts are not evenly experienced across the population, which affects how well equipped and empowered parts of the population are to stop the spread of the virus and its resulting impacts.

Although there is extensive national research into these issues, particularly during the earlier stages of the pandemic, relying on national surveys does not give the level of detail required on who within the GM population is being most affected, the issues they are facing, what support they need, and how communications and support may be best targeted and delivered.

GMCA and partners have commissioned BMG Research to undertake monthly online and telephone surveys of at least 1,000 residents each wave, with quotas to achieve at least 100 residents in each local authority, as well as gender, age, ethnicity and disability to ensure the sample broadly reflects the profile of residents. Further consieration is also being given to wider protected and other key characteristics.

You said

Wave One Results Report

This report, Safely Managing Covid-19, summarises the results from Wave One - a survey of 1016 Greater Manchester residents, completed online and by telephone, between 20th November and 2nd December. A further 437 responses were received from respondents who completed the survey online via a link that was circulated by GMCA's partners and hosted on the GM Consult website. Feedback from these 437 responses have not been included in this report, but will be reported separately.

Safely Managing Covid-19: Greater Manchester Population Survey December 2020

Subsequent waves of the survey will be shared on the GMCA website

We did

We are constantly using the insight gleaned from the survey to inform our communications and response to the pandemic. Please follow us on social media for advice about how to keep you and your loved ones safe, as well as where to access additional support: 



We asked

In July 2019, the Mayor of Greater Manchester announced plans to establish race equality and faith advisory panels, and a programme of listening exercises subsequently took place to develop the panels. Engagement sessions were held with Greater Manchester’s strategic, district and community leaders in race equality. The learnings from these sessions were used to inform proposals, which were due to be submitted to the Mayor and Greater Manchester’s lead for equalities when COVID-19 gripped the country and developments were put on hold.

The pandemic has had a significant and disproportionate impact upon sections of our community, and therefore a final stage of the listening exercise was undertaken to playback the findings from the earlier sessions and ‘check and challenge’ whether they are still salient. This survey was part of the listening exercise, and sought to understand:

  • The issues a panel should address
  • The purpose of the panel, e.g. its mission, aims and objectives
  • The role of the independent chair
  • The roles and responsibilities of panel members

You said

The majority of listening exercise participants felt that the six issues highlighted during the earlier engagement are the consequences of systemic racism and structural inequalities, and they felt that tackling inequalities, racism and discrimination should be at the heart of what the panel focuses on. These are Educational inequalities and achievement, including STEM; Employment and labour market inequalities; Financial inclusion and poverty; Hate crime and preventing discrimination; Health and wellbeing inequality; and Housing and homelessness, including hidden homelessness.

Nevertheless, both the survey and discussion groups revealed general agreement that these six issues were still important and should be considered by the panel.

Two additional issues that frequently came up in this stage of the listening exercise were discrimination in policing and criminal justice; and BAME leadership, especially in the public sector and political systems. There was also appetite for the panel to be involved in all aspects of the Greater Manchester Strategy, as well as the post-COVID recovery plans to ensure ‘build back better’ means better for all.

Participants felt the mission, aims and objectives should be simple and easily understood so all communities can understand what the panel is setting out to do. Participants also felt the panel needs measureable outcomes so it effectiveness and successes can be demonstrated.

It was widely agreed the panel’s overall mission should be to tackle the systemic and structural discrimination that leads to inequalities. Some mentioned by nature of its existence, the panel could inspire BAME people to participate in civic life and increase confidence that tackling inequalities and discrimination is being taken seriously.

In order to achieve that mission, most participants felt that the panel should have an explicit role in scrutinisng and holding the public and VCSE sectors to account. Additionally, whilst participants agreed the panel should have a role in highlighting the issues, many strongly advocated that it should be involved in co-designing and implementing the solutions – working in partnership, rather than being ‘done to’.

The proposal to appoint a chair was not broadly supported, and many participants would prefer the panel to select from its members, or hold a further recruitment process. A number of participants recommended there are at least two chairs. It was also queried whether the proposals for a truly independent chair were possible, but most participants did agree the chair should work for the ‘collective good’ rather than solely for the community they’re representing.   

There was widespread agreement that there should be an open recruitment process, and that anyone interested should be able to apply. It was also agreed that all 10 districts should be represented, as well as a broader range of communities as possible. A number of the discussion groups remarked that it wouldn’t be possible for all of Greater Manchester’s races, ethnicities and cultures to have a seat at the table, and they felt that consequently the panel needs a strong engagement infrastructure to support members’ ability to involve those from outside their own communities. Some suggested this could be facilitated by existing BAME-led organisations, if adequately resourced. There were conflicting views about whether members should be existing ‘leaders’ or ‘new voices’, but there was wide-spread agreement that all should have insight or first-hand experience of the issues the panel will focus on.

We did

The findings from the listening exercise were used to inform the final proposals for the Race Equality Panel. These were submitted to the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Greater Manchester’s lead for equalities, Cllr Brenda Warrington.

In their September 2020 meeting, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) endorsed the proposals, and announced that the open recruitment process will start.

To apply to be a member of the panel, please visit www.GMConsult.org to complete the application form.

Applications for the panel will close on Sunday 18th October 2020, and the panel will be convened in November 2020.

We asked

We asked people whether they agreed with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s proposal to raise the policing element of council tax by an extra £2 a month per household over the course of 2020/21.

Thanks to the support of local residents last year, the money raised through the police precept enabled us to recruit 320 additional police officers, the first time we could significantly add to officer numbers since 2010.

These officers have gone in to our communities, a dedicated transport unit launched late last year and new detectives have been recruited to deal with the most serious crimes.

The proposed additional funding would enable us to ensure that the police officers we have already recruited are able to continue tackling crime.

You said

There were 500 responses to the consultation on GM Consult.

Overall, 58% of respondents said that they support, in principle, an increase of £2 a month or more as part of their council tax payment to help Greater Manchester Police invest in neighbourhood policing.

We did

The government announced on Wednesday 22 January 2020 a £1.1 billion increase in their direct grant to fund police services. This equates to an additional £40m for Greater Manchester for 2020/21.

The Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel voted unanimously in favour of raising the police element of council tax by £10 a year for a Band D property. This was agreed at a GMCA meeting on February 14, 2020.

The extra funding will support:

  • 347 new police officers recruited in Greater Manchester in 2020/21
  • Named Neighbourhood Beat Officers and PSCOs in every ward in Greater Manchester
  • Schools based police officers in Greater Manchester schools with the greatest need
  • Improvement of the 101 service by continuing to fund the 40 additional call handlers

Read more:

We asked

Greater Manchester is a place where everyone should feel safe to be themselves. No one should face violence, abuse or hatred just because of who they are, who they love, where they’re from, what they look like or what they believe. Hate incidents and hate crime will not be tolerated in Greater Manchester.

There is a lot of great work taking place to tackle hate crime in each area of Greater Manchester but we think we can be more effective if we work together. So, we are creating the Greater Manchester Plan to Tackle Hate Crime to help prevent and tackle hate crime.

We have worked with many people and organisations involved in tackling hate crime to develop a set of priorities for the Greater Manchester Plan to Tackle Hate Crime. We sought your feedback and experiences to help us to get a better understanding of what is working and what can be improved.

This consultation was open from 16th October 2019 and ran until 8th December 2019.

You said

We received 817 responses to this consultation. The majority of these responses were received via the online survey, with a smaller number shared with us directly via email.

There was overall support for the draft priorities to be included within the Plan to Tackle Hate Crime. Around 90% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the draft priorities outlined within the consultation.

A number of responses raised questions relating to gender and sex and there was broad support for the inclusion of hate against women and girls as a monitored strand of hate crime.

When asked about other strands that should be monitored (other than those already monitored and women and girls) age was the next most suggested strand.

30% of respondents were aware of Hate Crime Awareness Week, which runs each February across Greater Manchester. There was a wide range of suggestions for future Hate Crime Weeks the most popular being how to safely challenge hate crime.

A number of important pieces of feedback were given, and we have taken note of these. These included:

  • Respondents felt that if people reported hate crime this must be followed by proper support or action from the police.
  • Education and work in schools was the most common suggestion for action that should be considered to address hate crime.
  • There was broad support for the concept of Third Party Reporting Centres but some questioned how effective they were.

We did

Following early sight of the consultation results we were able to include some key messaging throughout hate crime awareness week around supporting people and not being a bystander when witnessing a hate crime, where it was safe to do so. This messaging appeared at key public transport hubs throughout Greater Manchester where we know such hate incidents occur.

The results of the survey will be shared and reviewed by the Greater Manchester Hate Crime Partnership at the next formal meeting. It has already been agreed that the Partnership will undertake a piece of work to review the operation of Third Party Reporting Centres in Greater Manchester. This work will look to gain a better understanding of the role of the existing centres and provide proposals for the future operation and support network for those centres.

Following the consultation feedback regarding the monitoring of hate crime strands, including age and women and girls which featured strongly in the feedback, the Deputy Mayor will be discussing this with the Chief Constable to gauge the feasibility of recording crimes against other strands. These discussions will focus on the capacity of policing to effectively record and respond to what would be an increased demand.

The feedback will also contribute to towards the ongoing Strategic Review of Victims Services. We want to ensure that the services available to victims are meaningful and effective and understanding the experiences of victims is key to us achieving that.

The results of the survey will be used to develop the draft Plan to Tackle Hate Crime and this will be formally reviewed by the Deputy Mayor and members of the Police and Crime Steering Group before being publically launched in Spring 2020.

We asked

Poor health adversely affects both victims of crime and offenders. From learning disabilities to drug addiction to poor mental health, it is clear that there are a range of health factors that directly increase your likelihood of entering the criminal justice system. The links between health, victimisation and offending are both critical and complex: that is why we have developed a health and justice strategy and are the first city-region to do so.

The aim of this strategy is to improve the health of people who are already in the criminal justice system, or who are at risk of entering it – either as a victim or offender. We believe this will reduce the risk of some people becoming a victim, and prevent others from getting involved in crime, as well as reducing the risk of reoffending of those already caught up in crime.

We have developed a vision and a set of priorities for our Health and Justice Strategy. We sought your feedback to help us improve the support we give to vulnerable people who come into contact with the criminal justice system in Greater Manchester.

The feedback that was collected during this consultation will be used to shape the delivery plan for the Greater Manchester Health and Justice Strategy.

This consultation was open from October 2nd and ran until October 31st 2019.

You said

We received 281 responses to this consultation. The majority of these responses were received via the online survey, with a smaller number shared with us directly via email.

We were pleased to note that victims of crime were well-represented among the public responses (73%), as were individuals who consider themselves to have a disability.

90% of respondents either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with our vision for an integrated strategy for health and justice, and 90% of responses also agreed with the priorities which we set within the strategy. We take this as a good indication that members of the public are broadly in favour of our approach, and are supportive of the direction we are taking.

Members of the public were clear about their preference for approaches that focused on prevention. Specifically, the parts of the strategy which they considered most important included the reduction of violence on one hand, and the prevention of young people becoming involved in crime on the other.

A number of important pieces of feedback were given, and we have taken note of several. These included:

  • Mental health: members of the public were keen to see a greater emphasis placed on mental health in the vision and priorities of the strategy. It was acknowledged that mental health was recognised explicitly throughout the document, but the public’s perception was that work on mental health should be made more prominent.
  • Support for offenders: while often sympathetic, members of the public expressed a lack of certainty about the rationale behind improved support for offenders. There was concern that a greater emphasis needed to be placed on supporting victims – and that these two objectives needed to be approached with distinctly from one another.
  • Wider considerations: members of the public identified a number of other factors which they felt were just as important in determining offending related behaviours. These included education (for children and young people) and employment opportunities (for adults). They felt that ‘health and justice’ only made sense as a strategy in the context of wider issues.
  • Communication: members of the public expressed a concern about the degree to which we would communicate with them. They were keen for us to consult with them and involve them in designing and delivering policy. They were also keen for us to tell them clearly about what we are doing.

We did

The results of the survey were formally reviewed by the steering group for the Greater Manchester Integrated Health and Justice Strategy, and key decisions were taken about amendments to our approach. The Strategy, and specifically its delivery plan, has been revised to reflect the considerations taken on board during the consultation.

The feedback we received from the survey as well as our engagement with staff has informed a number of proposed amendments to our initial proposals.

The updated strategy includes:

  • We will make specific provision for mental health within the delivery plans for appropriate priorities. We will also distinguish mental and physical health in the outcomes framework for the strategy.
  • We have ensured that work streams designed to support victims are separate from work streams designed to support offenders. Work on victims and offenders will be resourced specifically and distinctly. We will specifically monitor outcomes for victims as well as offenders within the outcomes framework.
  • We will adopt an approach to service user engagement which directly involves service users in developing policy.
  • We are going to re-draft our priority on “family justice” and will seek to make sure that we recognise the importance of the whole family.
  • We will develop a communications plan in the first part of 2020 which will ensure we keep the public appraised of our work.
  • We will direct resources towards the priorities which the public have expressed as the most important in the first instance: violence reduction, and the prevention of young people from becoming victims or offenders.

The Integrated Health and Justice Strategy for Greater Manchester will be considered at parallel meetings of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership on Friday 31st January 2020.

We asked

We asked residents living in high rise buildings in Greater Manchester for their views on fire safety in their homes and whether they had experienced any problems, issues or concerns in their building following the Grenfell Tower fire.

You said

A total of 172 residents from 95 different buildings responded to the survey. 

  • 65% of respondents were concerned about having a fire in their home
  • More than half of owner occupiers are suffering from increased service charge costs – up to 433% higher
  • Only 12% of homeowners have had cladding removed or replaced
  • Some people said that the fire safety risks and financial costs are impacting their mental health and wellbeing

We did

The feedback provided by residents will be used to inform future work of the Greater Manchester High Rise Task Force.

The responses received in the first few weeks of the survey were used as part of the taskforce's response to Government’s Building a Safer Future consultation to ensure residents' experiences and views were included.

Find out more:

Greater Manchester High Rise Task Force

High Rise Task Force Residents Survey Summary Report

Greater Manchester high-rise residents affected by financial strife & poor mental health, survey reveals