Agenda and minutes

Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 14th September, 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

14.

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:

14.1   In accordance with the Council’s code of conduct, the following declarations of interest were made:

 

·       Cllr. S. Oakley declared a personal interest in item 4 as a member of Chichester District Council.

 

·       Cllr Walsh declared a personal interest in item 6 as the Leader of Arun District Council.

 

15.

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee on 24 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2020 (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

15.1   Resolved – that the minutes of the Committee held on 24 June 2020 be approved as a correct record, and that they be signed by the Chairman.

 

16.

Minutes of the Call-in meeting of the Committee on 2 July 2020 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 2 July 2020 (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

16.1   Resolved – that the minutes of the Call-in meeting of the Committee held on 2 July 2020 be approved as a correct record, and that they be signed by the Chairman.

 

17.

Urgent Matters

Items not on the agenda which the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances, including cases where the Committee needs to be informed of budgetary or performance issues affecting matters within its terms of reference, which have emerged since the publication of the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

17.1   The Committee noted that further to the recently announced changes to the planning system, member of the Committee will be offered the opportunity to consider and comments on the Council’s response to the Government consultation on the future of the current planning system.  Two meetings, chaired by Mr Oakley, would take place: the first the week beginning 21 September 2020 which will consider the changes to the current system; the second the week beginning 12 October which will consider the proposed future planning system as per the Government’s consultation.

 

17.2   Individual Committee members were asked to contact Ninesh Edwards, Senior Advisor directly should they wish to be involved.

 

18.

Responses to Recommendations pdf icon PDF 161 KB

The Committee is asked to note the responses to recommendations made at the 24 June 2020 and 2 July 2020 meetings from the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure and the Cabinet Member for Environment.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

18.1   The Committee noted the response to the recommendations made at the 24 June meeting regarding the Climate Change Strategy from the Cabinet Member for Environment.

 

18.2   The Committee noted the response to the recommendations made at the 24 June 2020 meeting regarding the also Reallocating Road Space in Response to Covid-19 from the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure.

 

18.3   The Committee requested that the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport undertakes to:

 

·     Be mindful of the Committee’s concerns regarding shortfalls in budgeted parking income and impacts on sustainable transport improvements and other initiatives as a result of this.

 

·     Provide an expanded update to the Committee on the current position of the CPZ Review Programme.

 

·     Review the Chichester and Worthing temporary cycleways before the end of October 2020 and provide an update to the Committee.

 

19.

Serious Violence pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Report by Executive Director for Place Service and Acting Director of Communities.

 

The Committee is asked to look at the current partnership approach to serious violence in West Sussex in order to obtain a more coherent and detailed picture of the threats, harms, risks and vulnerability that impact our communities and residents.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1   The Committee considered a report by the Executive Director of Place Services and the Acting Director of Communities (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

19.2   The Committee received presentations from Jim Bartlett, Acting Head of Community Safety & Wellbeing and Emma Fawell, Violence Reduction Unit Lead; Nick Bowman, Chief Inspector, Sussex Police; Mark Burden, Head of LDU, National Probation Service, and Sophie Whitehouse, Lead for Early Help and Wellbeing at Adur & Worthing Councils.  The presentations outlined the key points in the report, noted issues specific to individual agencies and the details of operations and initiatives to address serious violence in West Sussex.

 

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

 

·        Noted:

 

-     That the report was comprehensive and valuable.

 

-     The issues around easy access to knives and was supportive of campaigns for the production of kitchen knives and pen-knives to be blunt ended and campaigns to stop the sale of single kitchen knives.

 

-     Concerns about the disproportionate numbers of children looked after and children with additional needs who end up in trouble with the police.

 

-     That there is an ongoing need for training and information to be provided in schools about the risks and consequences of knife crime to children at risk of being involved in or becoming victims of serious violence.

 

·        Sought clarification and information on:

 

-     The impacts of Covid-19 on serious violence.

 

-     Targeted work being undertaken in Arun district.

 

-     Actions taken in relation to minimising the number of children and young people being excluded from school.

 

-     Serious violence involving migrant workers and crime within these communities and what help and support is available.

 

-     How success is measured.

 

·        Raised concerns that sentencing is often inadequate to act as a deterrent and sought clarification on sentencing.

 

·        Was supportive of the Youth Violence Commission’s report on the root causes of and solutions to serious youth violence.  The Committee echoed the Commission’s concerns about the impacts of short-term funding and lack of youth services including youth clubs.

 

·        Raised concern about public confidence in police action being taken following intelligence and crimes being reported to them, but noted that the Police must maximise resources based on threat, harm and risk, and suggested that positive news stories and social media would help to address public confidence.

 

19.4     The Cabinet Member for Communities and Fire thanked the Safer West Sussex Partnership and Violence Reduction Units for the work they do.  He noted that funding is an issue and guaranteed funding for future years would be helpful for planning ahead.  And, that the requirement for partnership working will continue.

 

19.5     The Committee resolved that it:-

 

1.   Regrets the demise of youth clubs and youth provision and would lobby the government for funding for these services.

 

2.   Agrees that there is a need for a greater police presence following intelligence-led reports from the public and it would like to see more resources being made available.  The Chairman will write to the Police and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Highways and Transport Contract Delivery Update pdf icon PDF 218 KB

Report by Executive Director for Place Service and Director of Highways, Transport and Planning.

 

The Committee is asked to review the update and consider:

 

·       The progress to date.

·       The adequacy of resources allocated to, and arrangements in place for, managing the contracts.

·       The strategy relating to the long-term management of West Sussex’s highways assets.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

20.2   The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport introduced the report, advising that report provided an update on progress to date, the adequacy of resources and the strategy for the long-term management of highways assets.

 

20.3   The Committee received presentations from Guy Bell, Head of Highways – Planned Delivery and Michele Hulme, Head of Local Highways Operations.  The presentation outlined the key details of the contract model, delivery programme, service preparedness, management of the network, investment matters, size of the task and road conditions and maintenance.

 

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

 

·        Sought clarification and information on:

 

-   Costs to stop deterioration of the condition of the county’s roads.

 

-   The amount of funding, including from block funding, provided to different aspects of road maintenance.

 

-   Methodologies and crewing for litter picking and filling of potholes.

 

-   How quality assurance is undertaken.

 

-   How the contracts are working in practice and the ability of contractors to deliver the contract outcomes within agreed timeframes, , including those contractors with multiple-contracts.

 

-   Previous and new road surfacing practices and materials and the impact on road conditions and safety and costs.

 

-   The Council’s ability to inspect and manage the quality of road works and resurfacing carried out by external companies, e.g. utility companies and developers.

 

-   What is being done to address blocked drains and flooding, particularly in light of heavy weather incidents.

 

-   About preferred lorry routes in West Sussex and the impacts of HGVs on road conditions.

 

·        Noted:

 

-     That in order to avoid the county’s highways deteriorating borrowing is likely to be needed.

 

-     That there has been a significant improvement regarding cats eyes and white lining and that investment must continue.

 

-     An issue with sunken drainage covers (ironwork), particularly on minor roads and that this matter should given a higher priority.

 

-     That if improvements could be made to drainage resulting in reduced road surface water caused by poor drainage this would have a positive impact on the Council’s ability to encourage more walking and cycling.

 

-     That public finances are not keeping up with the degradation of highways infrastructure and this needs to be born in mind when the Council agrees funding for other matters.

 

20.5     The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport advised there has been a noticeable improvement in quality of repairs; that competition is helping in delivery and capacity, and there have been improvements in the inspection regime.  Additionally, he noted the improvements as a result of the funding received from the pothole fund but that continued investment will be required.  The Cabinet Member advised that a review will be undertaken after the contract have been in place for a year.

 

20.6     The Committee resolved that it:-

 

1.      Notes that officers and the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 45 KB

The Committee is asked to note the current work programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

21.1   The Committee considered the Committee’s current Work Programme (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

21.2   Resolved – That the current Work Programme be noted.

 

22.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Extract fromthe ForwardPlan dated 1 September 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:

22.1   The Committee considered the Forward Plan dated 1 September (a copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

22.1   The Committee noted that the Review of the Integrated Parking Strategy is ikely to be pushed back.

 

22.2   Resolved – That the Forward Plan be noted.

 

23.

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:

23.1   The Committee noted that it may wish to review the Integrated Parking Strategy at the Committee or via a Task and Finish Group.

 

24.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on 25 November at 10.30am.  Probable agenda items include:

 

·         Review of Road Safety Strategy

 

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 13 November 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

24.1   The next meeting of the Committee will be held on 25 November 2020 at 10.30 am.  Probable agenda items include:

 

·       West Sussex Tree Plan

 

24.2   Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 13 November 2020.