We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We Asked

We asked people across Greater Manchester to tell us about the role and impacts of alcohol in their communities.

We know that alcohol-related harm is costing Greater Manchester’s public services over £1.3bn a year – the equivalent of £500 for every resident. And beyond the visible impacts, hidden harms are experienced by more people of all ages and backgrounds than is commonly recognised.

But alcohol plays an important part in our region’s close communities and vibrant towns and cities. Our night life is celebrated around the world. The vast majority of people who drink enjoy doing so safely and responsibly.

This was not looking into people’s individual behaviour. We wanted to find out what residents and businesses understand about the scale and nature of alcohol harm in our city region, and how – and indeed if – things should change when it comes to the way we drink.

You Said

Through broad engagement with the public, and targeted activities with more than 80 local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, more than 5000 people joined in the Big Alcohol Conversation.

We are now analysing everyone’s contributions, through our online surveys, one-to-one interviews and focus groups.

What is immediately clear is that people see a wide range of issues linked to alcohol in their local areas, from crime and anti-social behaviour to homelessness to personal health issues. There is support for more action to tackle these impacts, and low awareness for measures already in place.

We Did

Watch this space…

Later this year we will reveal the full results of our Big Alcohol Conversation, alongside the launch of a Greater Manchester ‘Ambition for Alcohol’. This will be our statement of intent, co-designed by people across the city region.

Our ambition will set out how we could do things differently – whether through developing new policies or inspiring social change. And how together we could realise our vision for Greater Manchester as a place where everyone can have the best start in life, live well and age well, protected from the harms caused by alcohol.

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 £24 per household over the course of the year.

This proposed funding would be used to:

Increase the police force by recruiting at least 320 officers; this would include:

  • 220 neighbourhood police officers
  • 50 police officers dedicated to policing the transport network
  • 50 police officers to create a proactive forcewide team

Continue to improve the 101 service

Tackle serious and violent crimeTackle violence against women and girls

Increase, for 2019/20, the amount of funding allocated to the local authorities for community safety initiatives. 

You Said

There were more than 850 responses to the consultation on GM Consult.

Feedback included:

  • 59% support the proposal of a £24 increase of council tax – or believe it should be increased by more than £24 over the year
  • 63% support the proposal to recruit 320 police officers

Additional comments include support for recruiting warranted police officers, not PCSOs, and a desire for an increase in visible police presence in neighbourhoods.

We Did

The proposal was presented at a special meeting of GMCA on 15 February 2019 by Deputy Mayor, Bev Hughes. The proposal, to increase the policing element of the council tax by £24, has been backed by the Police and Crime Panel.

The report and minutes from the Police and Crime Panel can be accessed here: https://www.gmcameetings.co.uk/meetings/meeting/645/police_and_crime_panel

The press release announcing the increase is available here: https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/news/greater-manchester-communities-to-benefit-from-additional-police-officers/

 

We Asked

This consultation asked for views on the vision, themes and commitments in the draft Greater Manchester Drug and Alcohol Strategy.

The proposed vision for the strategy was:

To make Greater Manchester a place where everyone can have the best start in life, live well and age well, safe from the harms caused by drugs and alcohol: 

  • A place where children, young people and families have the best start in life and future generations grow up protected from the impact of drug and alcohol misuse.
  • A place where people who drink alcohol choose to do so responsibly and safely.
  • A place where people are empowered to avoid using drugs and alcohol to cope with adversity and the stresses and strains of life.
  • A place where our services and communities work together to build resilience and address the harms caused by drugs and alcohol.
  • A place where individuals who develop drug and alcohol problems can recover and live fulfilling lives in strong resilient communities.

 The six themes for the strategy were: 

  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Reducing drug and alcohol related harm
  • Building recovery in communities
  • Reducing drug and alcohol related crime and disorder
  • Managing availability and accessibility
  • Establishing diverse, vibrant and safe night time economies

You Said

Over 450 responses were received; of these:  

  • 92% of respondents agreed the vision was right (56% strongly agreed and 36% agree). 
  • 91% of respondents agreed the themes were right (46% strongly agreed and 45% agree). 

The feedback made it clear that drugs and alcohol should be seen as everybody’s business and that the focus should be on encouraging people to behave safely and responsibly. There was also support for our approach which emphasises people’s strengths and assets and the need for services and communities to work together to address drug and alcohol problems inclusive of criminal related activity. Respondents welcomed that the strategy included children and young people and placed emphasis on prevention and early intervention.

There were some concerns expressed about whether we have the resources to deliver the strategy.  These realistic concerns underline the need to continue the process of public sector reform that the strategy emphasises and ensure that all our services work better together. 

There was also concern that the strategy does not give consider the specific needs of communities of identity and interest (e.g. sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity), therefore we have made sure this is considered in the main narrative of the strategy and will ensure it is a key feature in the strategy’s implementation plan.

Many respondents took the opportunity to share that they feel unsafe at night in areas where pubs and clubs are concentrated and on public transport.  Alongside this there was support for a conversation with businesses about responsible trading and social accountability with many saying we should require, enforce or regulate this. 

We Did

Our vision and themes were positively received and are contained in full in the final version of the Greater Manchester Drug and Alcohol Strategy which was approved by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on 29 March 2019. It combines emphasis on addressing the underlying causes of drug and alcohol problems, ensuring that the information we provide around drug and alcohol use is accurate and credible, and reducing stigma that may deter those with problems from seeking help. 

The final strategy can be accessed here:

https://www.gmcameetings.co.uk/meetings/meeting/668/greater_manchester_combined_authority

We Asked

We asked people for their views on three broad areas within the draft Cultural Strategy. These were -
 
People - Health, Ageing and Families
  • Promote the importance of engagement across the life-course, recognising the value of intergenerational relationships and exchange in enriching lives and increasing levels of participation.
  • Capitalise on Greater Manchester’s status as the UK’s first age-friendly city region, enabling and promoting later life creativity and talent.
  • Champion culture’s role in improving health and wellbeing, capitalising on opportunities offered by the devolution of health and social care.
  • Empower our residents to take responsibility for their own creativity by improving the visibility of opportunities and removing identified barriers to engagement.
  • Create a joined-up approach to volunteering in the cultural sector, recognising the benefits of volunteering on people’s health and wellbeing.
Economy - Education, Skills and Jobs
  • Advocate for the importance of engagement with culture in ensuring our young people are school ready.
  • Ensure that cultural education, inside and outside of the curriculum is accessible to all young people, regardless of background.
     
  • Create a GM-wide approach to ensuring our residents have the skills required to drive and contribute to the growth of the cultural sector.
  • Work with employers in the cultural sector and creative industries to develop and promote good jobs and opportunities that pay fairly and are meaningful.
  • Work with cultural organisations and artists to develop entrepreneurial activities that improve the sustainability and strength of the sector.
  • Capitalise on our position at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, working with partners across the North to strengthen and promote our collective offer and ensure that Greater Manchester is a world leader for Arts and Culture.
  • Work with our Universities to build Greater Manchester's reputation as an international centre of excellence in research and knowledge about the creative and cultural industries.
Place - Regeneration, Environment and Communities
  • Empower and support cultural organisations, artists and communities to understand and advocate for the intrinsic value of culture to a place and its role in articulating identity and attracting investment.
  • Work with cultural organisations to ensure that all venues in Greater Manchester are safe, accessible, and welcoming to all.
  • Create opportunities for people to reflect on, and forge their place in the world, locally, nationally and internationally and use culture to develop and promote social and community cohesion.
  • Promote the diverse and distinctive cultural offer in Greater Manchester, from clusters of activity in our city and town centres, to more dispersed activity taking place in our rural and semi-rural communities.
  • Recognise the importance of creativity in the planning of our places, from ensuring culture is considered in spatial planning, to promoting the importance of good design in the public realm.
  • Work with Marketing Manchester, GM's Night Time Economy Adviser and UK Music to cement and promote culture's position at the heart of Greater Manchester's visitor and night time economy.

You Said

There were more than 200 responses to the consultation.  Feedback was received from the online consultation, emailed responses, face-to-face consultation sessions and from members of the GM Culture and Social Impact Monitoring Committee and GM Economy, Business and Growth Scrutiny Committee.

Feedback and recurring comments which have shaped the final document included -

  • Need for greater clarity on the purpose of the strategy and how it will be delivered
  • Need for clearer narrative about the definition of culture for the purpose of the strategy
  • Need for heritage to feature more prominently
  • Need for reduction in number of priorities – first draft aimed to do too much
  • Need to be clearer on what success might look like
  • Need to be more explicit in how culture links to other portfolio areas
  • Need for strategy to be more ‘distinctly GM’
  • Greater resident voice
  • What are the opportunities and challenges distinct to GM?
  • What specific powers to we have at our disposal to achieve our vision?
  • Need for an implementation plan to understand what activity might be delivered

We Did

We have incorporated the feedback and the final proposed version of the Cultural Strategy is going to the Combined Authority on the Friday, March 29, 2019 to be approved.

We Asked

Building on our first consultation on the development of a Good Employment Charter, which took place in Spring 2018, we asked for views on the Charter model that had been developed up to that point. This included:

  • The suitability of the proposed tiers of the Charter:
    • Supporters
    • Members
    • Advocates
  • How Charter membership is assessed
  • How the success of the Charter will be evaluated

You Said

Feedback was received from the online consultation, emailed and posted responses, face-to-face consultation sessions with employers across the city-region and from members of the Greater Manchester Economy, Business and Growth Scrutiny Committee and Business Advisory Panel.

Feedback and recurring comments about the Charter included:

  • More than 95% of consultees thought that employers should be able to sign up as Supporters of the Charter.
  • More than 90% agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal for Membership of the
    Charter.
  • More than 95% agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal for Charter Advocates.
  • The need for a stronger and clearer narrative around diversity and inclusion within the Charter.
  • The need for clarity around the flexible working characteristics and what this meant for zero hours contracts.
  • The need for clarity around whether the criteria for Charter membership must be met across an organisation or only for employees based in Greater Manchester.
  • Discussion of the role of well-being in the Charter.
  • Points around the relevance of the Charter to workers, as well as direct employees.
  • The importance of marketing and creating a brand for the Charter.
  • The potential role of ‘anchor’ institutions in spreading the Charter to supply chains.
  • Ways in which the Charter could be evaluated.
  • A large number of proposed sources of support for employers.

We Did

Based on the feedback received we have further developed the Good Employment Charter model and addressed a number of the comments raised. The model itself was agreed by the Combined Authority at its meeting on 1st March 2019:

https://www.gmcameetings.co.uk/download/meetings/id/4279/12_gm_good_employment_charter 

We Asked

This consultation asked respondents to consider how Greater Manchester can create a more productive and inclusive economy, where all residents can benefit from and contribute to the city-region’s growth. Specifically, consultees were asked to give their views on the following:

  • What the main focus of our local industrial strategy should be
  • What our globally competitive strengths and main growth assets are
  • What support is needed to grow the economy
  • How we ensure all residents can access opportunities
  • How we capitalise on the opportunities created by global changes such as decarbonisation and digitalisation

You Said

We received feedback via the online consultation, face-to-face consultation sessions, emailed and posted responses and via the Greater Manchester Economy, Business and Growth Scrutiny Committee, Business Advisory Panel and Local Enterprise Partnership. Feedback on the strategy included:

  • Strong agreement that Greater Manchester has global strengths in health innovation and advanced materials.
  • The need to ensure  that high employment sectors are not neglected in the strategy.
  • The need to help residents develop careers; not just obtain qualifications.
  • The need to join-up skills provision across the life course.
  • The need to promote increased collaboration between business and universities.
  • The need to embrace the role of hospitals and the health system in driving business innovation.
  • The need to prioritise Investment in public transport.
  • The need for additional hospitals, schools and housing investment.
  • The need for new sites of economic growth.
  • The positive impact of business support in Greater Manchester and the need for it to be marketed in a more joined-up way.
  • The need for social enterprise to feature in the strategy.
  • The importance of Manchester Airport as a significant asset for the city-region.
  • The importance of education and skills provision in improving Greater Manchester’s economic performance.

We Did

We have utilised the comments and feedback from this consultation exercise extensively in the drafting of our Local Industrial Strategy. We are now working with Government to develop the document further and expect to launch the final strategy later in Spring 2019.