Agenda and draft minutes

Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 24th June, 2020 10.30 am

Venue: Virtual meeting with restricted public access

Contact: Sally Manning on 033 022 23883  Email:  sally.manning@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Members and officers must declare any pecuniary or personalinterest in any business on the agenda. They should also make declarations at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting. Consideration should be given to leaving the meeting if the nature of the interest warrants it.  If in doubt please contact Democratic Services before the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Code of Conduct the following interests were declared:

 

Cllr Walsh declared a personal interest in Items 4 and 5 as Leader of Arun District Council and a Member of Littlehampton Town Council.

 

Cllr Jones declared a personal interest in Items 4 and 5 as a Member of Crawley Borough Council and in Item 6 as a Member of the West Sussex Climate Change Advisory Board.

 

Cllr S Oakley declared a personal interest in Items 4 and 5 as a Member of Chichester District Council.

 

Cllr Waight declared a personal interest in Items 4 and 5 as a Member of Worthing Borough Council.

 

Cllr Baldwin declared a personal interest in Items 4 and 5 as a Member of Horsham District Council.

 

Cllr Goldsmith declared a personal interest in Items 5 and 6 as Chairman of Save Our South Coast Alliance.

2.

Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee pdf icon PDF 137 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 5 March 2020 (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

2.1     Resolved – that the minutes of the Committee held on 5 March 2020 be approved as a correct record, and that they be signed by the Chairman.

3.

Responses to Recommendations pdf icon PDF 53 KB

The Committee is asked to note the responses to recommendations made at the 5 March 2020 meeting from the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

3.1     The Committee is asked to note the response to the recommendations made at the 5 March meeting regarding the On-street Parking to Support Traffic Management from the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure.

4.

Integrated Parking Strategy pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Report by the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning.

 

The Committee is invited to consider and comment on the extent to which the proposed Strategy:

 

a.   Meets the needs of residents and businesses.

b.   Reflects advances in technology, both those already realised, and those anticipated.

c.    Fits with the Council’s other strategies and policies, for example in respect of climate change, and with those of the district and borough councils, such as in respect of air quality.

d.   Addresses the scale of planned development in West Sussex.

e.   Whether the present COVID-19 crisis and its consequences might have implications for the Strategy

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

4.1     The Committee considered a report by the Executive Director Place Services and the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

4.2     The Cabinet Member introduced the report and confirmed that this is a strategic document.

 

4.3     Miles Davy, Parking Manager set out the background and outlined some of the developments that have occurred since the last update in 2014.

 

4.4     The Committee made a number of comments including those that follow. It:

 

·       Raised concerns that the Strategy had been developed before the impact of COVID-19 is known particularly regarding future public transport use and any effect this would have on congestion.

 

·       Sought clarification on whether the need to encourage people back into town centres and coastal areas has been fully considered.

 

·       Asked that more consideration be given to cycle parking to maintain the upsurge in cycle journeys.

 

·       Raised concerns regarding the lack of enforcement particularly regarding pavement and verge parking but welcomed the Government’s review of this issue.

 

·       Sought clarification on whether pavement and verge parking was an offence and who was responsible for enforcement.

 

The Committee resolved that:

 

1.   The strategic impact of Covid needs to be looked at in some detail in terms of both impact and funding, including the changes in public transport use over the longer-term.

 

2.   There are conflicts between short-term and long-term particularly in regard to the economic dimension which need to be corrected.

 

3.   There needs to be more treatment of parking for cyclists, as it is not mentioned in the Strategy.

 

4.   The Council’s Climate Change and Clean Air decisions need to be referred to and addressed.

 

5.   The capital and revenue costs associated with delivery of the strategy need to be better set out.

 

6.   A report is needed on the timing and delivery of future road space audits (RSAs).

 

7.   There needs to be adequate resources for effective enforcement. The Committee welcomes the fact that systems to enable reporting from district and borough councils on Civil Parking Enforcement are in place. It would be helpful if views of the public can also be gathered, to improve enforcement.

 

8.   Consultation responses from district and borough councils need to be included in the Strategy.

 

9.   Controlled Parking Zones being now being dependent on RSA process (hence the need for a paper on RSA timing and delivery).

 

10.It was reassured to hear that the issue of verge/footway parking is being addressed as a high priority.

 

11.Moving traffic violations are a particular priority around school safety zones, and need to be looked at in more detail.

 

12.  Parking in new developments needs to be looked at again as the planning system does not appear to be robust enough. It was reassured that Matt Davey will look at our current guidance.

 

13.The importance of the EV Strategy and Climate Change Strategy - the need for charging infrastructure is paramount.

 

14.It recognised the need to give guidance to communities about what they are able  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Reallocating Road Space in Response to COVID-19 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

A report by the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning.

 

The Committee is invited to review the initiative, and consider:

 

(1)        Any lessons learned from the work undertaken so far;

 

(2)        Member involvement in the process ahead;

 

(3)        How assurance is provided that the schemes proposed under the programme represent the best value for money, given the volume of suggestions;

 

(4)        The impact of compressed time scales, including on any limitations to the depth and scope of investigatory work; and

 

(5)        The implications for the Council of resourcing the work to support and develop these schemes, including consideration of any prioritisation that may be required.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.1     The Committee considered a briefing paper by the Head of Transport and Countryside.

 

5.2     The Cabinet Member introduced the paper and thanked the officers for all their work in bringing these schemes forward to the very tight Government timetable and the limited criteria.        Also confirmed that it is not yet known whether the funding bid has been successful.

 

5.3     The Committee made a number of comments including those that follow. It:

 

·       Appreciated the very short time frame involved for Tranche 1 and hoped that it would be greater when Tranche 2 schemes are considered.

 

·       Raised concerns that the timeframe for Tranche 1 had not allowed for proper consultation and was reassured to know that consultation for Tranche 2 would be better.

 

·       Raised concerns about Tranche 1 schemes only being temporary as shown in the Government guidance but was reassured that there is the possibility for successful schemes to become permanent.

 

·       Supported the idea of an Executive Task and Finish Group as part of the Tranche 2 work and asked that the Walking and Cycling Strategies could be updated to reflect the changes in travel patterns.

 

The Cabinet Member responded and highlighted the amount of work that officers had put into this and that they worked very quickly. He personally recorded his thanks to all involved.

 

Resolved – That the Committee

 

Tranche 1

 

1.   Expressed disappointment at some of the routes chosen but recognised the very tight timescales and the criteria that officers were working to.

 

2.   Supported the work and acknowledged the efforts of officers.

 

3.   Would like more details to be shared with members together with details of those that may become permanent.

Tranche 2

 

4.   Supported the formation of a working group together with a review of the Walking and Cycling Strategies.

 

5.   Requested that there is better communication with district and borough councils, and early on in the process.

 

6.   Requested that the Cycle Forums are included as consultees in the process.

 

6.

Climate Change Strategy 2020/30 pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Report by Executive Director Place Services and Director of Environment and Public Protection

 

The Committee is asked to scrutinise and comment on

 

a.   The scope and depth of the draft Strategy

b.   Whether the Strategy is sufficiently challenging/ambitious

c.    How it is foreseen that the required changes in organisational culture will be brought about.

d.   Whether the present COVID-19 crisis and its consequences might have implications for the Strategy

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6.1     The Committee considered a report by the Executive Director Place Services and the Director of Environment and Public Protection (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

6.2     The Cabinet Member for Environment explained that this is a Strategy and that an Action Plan will follow once the Strategy is adopted.

 

6.3     Steve Read, Director of Environment and Public Protection, introduced the report with a presentation (copy appended to the signed minutes), which gave further details and the links to COVID-19 recovery.

 

6.4     The Chairman invited Tony Whitbread, President of the Sussex Wildlife Trustas a member of the Climate Change Advisory Group, and also representing SECA (South East Climate Alliance) to address the Committee. He gave some background and stressed the urgency that is now required. He had acted as a critical friend to West Sussex County Council and stated that leadership and enabling is important. He also acknowledged the valuable input from the West Sussex Youth Cabinet.

 

6.5     The Committee made a number of comments including those that follow. It:

 

·       Raised concerns that the document was inward facing and that it needs to clearer on how we are going to support communities to change behaviour.

 

·       Raised concerns that the current planning system is lacking and that officers should lobby Government with regards to the National Planning Framework along with the district and borough councils.

 

·       Welcomed the enthusiasm which the Strategy has received with communities but requested that community engagement be a priority in the Action Plan.

 

·       Welcomed the reassurance given by the Cabinet Member that the Strategy needs to be embedded in the COVID-19 recovery plan.

 

 

The Committee resolved that:-

 

1.   It welcomed the Strategy.

 

2.   More community engagement should be undertaken, and that the strategy should set out how we are going to support and guide communities to do what is necessary.

 

3.   A stronger statement on the Planning system was needed, either in the Strategy or the Action Plan under development.

4.   It welcomed that the Climate Change Board has already met.

 

5.   It would like to see the Carbon Management Plan as soon as possible.

 

6.   It would like to see the Strategy build on the successful COVID -19 recovery work, by increasing our commitments to communities and ensuring strong communication messages.

 

7.

Requests for Call-in

There have been no requests for call-in to the Scrutiny Committee and within its constitutional remit since the date of the last meeting.  The Director of Law and Assurance will report any requests since the publication of the agenda papers.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1     The Director of Law and Assurance has agreed to call-in the proposed decision by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure concerning the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme – Discretionary Rail Cards HI02 (20/21) decision published on the Executive Decision Database on 10 June 2020 and in the Member’s Bulletin on 10 June 2020.

 

7.2     A virtual meeting of the Committee will now be held at 10.30am on  2 July 2020.

8.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Extract fromthe ForwardPlan dated 11 June 2020 – attached.

 

Anextract fromanyForwardPlan publishedbetween the date of despatchof the agenda and the date of the meetingwill be tabled at the meeting.

 

The Committee is asked to consider whetheritwishes to enquireinto any of the forthcoming decisions withinits portfolio.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1     The Committee considered the Forward Plan dated 22 June 2020 (a copy appended to the signed minutes).

9.

Possible Items for Future Scrutiny

Members to mention any items which they believe to be of relevance to the business of the Scrutiny Committee, and suitable for scrutiny, e.g. raised with them by constituents arising from central government initiatives etc.

 

If any member puts forward such an item, the Committee’s role at this meeting is just to assess, briefly, whether to refer the matter to its Business Planning Group (BPG) to consider in detail.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

9.1     The Committee requested that the Chairman writes a formal letter to Governance Committee explaining how well the Committee felt that the virtual meeting went as this is particularly pertinent to the Climate Change Strategy work going forward.

 

10.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on 21 October at 10.30 am at County Hall North, Horsham.  Probable agenda items include:

 

·       Highways and Transport Delivery Programme 2020/21

·       Pagham Harbour

·       Serious Violence

·       Local Flood Risk Management Strategy

·       Report from the Waste Strategy Task and Finish Group

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 9 October 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on 14 September 2020

at 10.30 am. Probable agenda items include:

 

·       Highways and Transport Delivery Programme 2020/21

·       Serious Violence

·       Report from the Waste Strategy Task and Finish Group

 

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the

meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 2 September 2020.