Agenda and minutes

Environment, Communities and Fire Select Committee
Friday, 20th September, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: County Hall, Chichester

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

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

111.

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:

111.1In accordance with the Code of Conduct the following interests were declared

 

·       Mr S Oakley declared a personal interest in items 7 and 8 as a Member of Chichester District Council.

 

·       Mr Jupp declared a personal interest in items 7 and 8 as a Member of Horsham District Council.

 

·       Mr Jones declared a personal interest in items 7 and 8 as a Member of Crawley Borough Council.

 

·       Dr Walsh declared a personal interest in items 7 and 8 as a Member of Arun District Council.

 

·       Lt Col. Barton declared a personal interest in items 7 and 8 as a Member of Adur District Council.

 

·       Mr Purchese declared an interest in items 7 and 8 as a member of Arun District Council

112.

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee on 20 June pdf icon PDF 147 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2019 (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2019 (cream paper).

 

112.1   Resolved – that the minutes of the Environment, Communities and Fire Select Committee held on 20 June 2019 be approved as a correct record, and that they be signed by the Chairman.

113.

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee on 10 July pdf icon PDF 137 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 10 July 2019 (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2019 (cream paper).

 

112.1   Resolved – that the minutes of the Environment, Communities and Fire Select Committee held on 10 July 2019 be approved as a correct record, and that they be signed by the Chairman.

 

114.

Responses to Recommendations pdf icon PDF 131 KB

The Committee is asked to note the responses to recommendations made at the 20 June 2019 meeting from Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

a)  Framework for Managing Planned Events Requiring Closures of Highways

 

114.1The Committee noted the Cabinet Member’s response to the Committees Recommendations on the Framework for Managing Planned Events Requiring Closures of Highways.

 

114.2The Chairman reminded the Committee that it had requested that the Framework came back to Committee before it was finalised. This did not happen but the Chairman agreed to work on the Committee’s behalf. Not all the points were taken on board but that the new Framework has been agreed. The Committee expressed disappointment that this was sent for Cabinet Member decision before it could be reviewed at this meeting.        

 

b)  Highways, Transport and Planning Service Area Review and Highway Maintenance Infrastructure Plan

 

114.3The Committee noted the Cabinet Member’s response to the Committee’s Recommendations on the Highways, Transport and Planning Service Area Review and Highway Maintenance Infrastructure Plan.

 

114.4The Committee are concerned that changes were implemented before the Cabinet Member had made his decision. Social media is suggesting that no communication has been made with the public and it is still unclear whether West Sussex County Council is going to provide any assistance to community groups who come forward.

 

114.5Resolved – That the Committee noted these concerns and have requested that they are shared with the Cabinet Member.

 

 

 

 

 

 

115.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service HMICFRS & IRMP Improvement Plan progress report pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Report by the Chief Fire Officer.

 

The Committee is asked to:

 

-      Comment on the approach to the integration of the IRMP and HMI Improvement Plans as set out by the responsible officers

-      advise whether the focus on the priorities and outcomes are those members would expect to meet the needs of our communities (section 2)

-      advise whether there are particular areas of service improvement which the committee wishes to focus on for future scrutiny

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

115.1Before the report by the Chief Fire Officer, the Chairman requested that members of the Committee do not put forward any motions but that it is here to hold the Cabinet Member to account.

 

115.2The Chairman welcomed the Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities and asked her to address the Committee regarding her initial views of the Fire and Rescue Service. Cabinet Member confirmed that the portfolio has been changed to reflect the new clarity around governance and that she has attended the Improvement Board. A programme of fire station visits has been started and she would like to extend an invitation to any local member who would like to visit their local station with her. Weekly meetings with the Chief Fire Officer have also been programmed in.

 

115.3The Chief Executive responded by saying that the eight recommendations are all showing progress but that we need to ensure that the governance is accountable and that the pace of improvement is reasonable.

 

115.4The Committee considered a report by the Chief Fire Officer (copy appended to signed minutes).

 

115.5Before introducing her report Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Chief Fire Officer, thanked everyone present for their warm welcome and special thanks were expressed to Neil Stocker who has been Acting Chief Fire Officer over the last three months. She then introduced the report with a presentation (copy of slides appended to the signed minutes), which highlighted progress but also asked the Committee to identify whether there are particular areas of service improvement planning which the Committee wishes to consider for future scrutiny. Further that staff morale is poor as a result of the “inadequate” rating from the Inspector’s Report, and that this does need to be reflected in the work that is carried out, and the pace of improvement required.

 

115.6The Chairman once again invited verbal evidence from representatives of the four unions and this invitation was accepted by Antony Walker on behalf of the Fire Brigades Union, Dan Sartin on behalf of Unison and James Diston on behalf of the Fire and Rescue Services Association. Apologies were received from the Fire Officers Association.

 

115.7The Fire Brigades Union representative thanked the Committee for the opportunity to again address the Committee, and expressed gratitude for their involvement on the Improvement Board. Also thanked the Cabinet Member for her visits to fire stations. Capacity to deliver the change required is an issue which must be noted, and that the time to complete the improvement journey should not be underestimated.

 

115.8The UNISON representative thanked the Committee for the opportunity to speak again and stated that the points he will make refer to the whole Council, not just Fire and Rescue Service. Asked that councillors become more involved in staffing issues, which would require a change to the current approach. Confirmed that UNISON together with the other unions had taken up the offer from the Leader at the previous meeting to meet with her and two Cabinet colleagues. Engagement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 115.

116.

Limit Use of Household Waste Recycling Sites to West Sussex Residents pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Draft decision report by the Cabinet Member for Environment.

 

The Committee is asked to consider and comment on the proposals to limit access to West Sussex’s Household Waste Recycling Sites to residents.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

116.1The Committee considered the draft decision report by the Cabinet Member for Environment (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

116.2Steve Read, Director of Environment and Public Protection introduced the report with a presentation (copy appended to the signed minutes), which highlighted the need to limit the use of Household Waste Recycling Sites to West Sussex residents and that West Sussex County Council is one of the last waste disposal authority’s to do this.

 

116.3  The Committee made comments including those that follow. It:

 

·         Welcomed the report and was supportive of the proposal.

 

·         Raised concerns around the need for a utility bill in addition to photo ID and requested reassurance that there would be sufficient information, signage and staff on site to deal with residents’ admission, and any attendant queries.

 

·         Raised concerns that 1 months’ notice is not long enough to ensure that people turning up at sites are aware of the new conditions.

 

·         Questions whether the checks could be limited to sites situated close to a county border.

 

·         Concern was raised as to whether this action will result in an increase in fly tipping and was reassured to hear that there has been no significant increase in other areas that have a resident’s-only policy.

 

116.4  Resolved –

 

That the Committee supports the proposal but asks that the Cabinet Member looks again at instead requiring only one form of ID.

 

That the Cabinet Member takes account of the Committee’s concerns about fly-tipping and the risk of long queues forming. Also that the proposals will overly impact areas of deprivation.

 

That it is verified that there is sufficient space at sites for rejected vehicles to turn around.

 

That the one-month notice period is lengthened

 

That the proposal should be subject to public consultation

 

 

 

117.

Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Draft decision report by the Cabinet Member for Environment.

 

The Committee is asked to consider and comment on the proposals to terminate all recycling credit payments to collection authorities (except those protected by law) and to retain a reserve fund for future initiatives.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

117.1The Committee considered the draft decision report by the Cabinet Member for Environment (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

117.2Before the report was introduced the Chairman invited the Cabinet Member to speak and she reminded the Committee that there had already been an initial change to credits, resulting in very little improvement in recycling rates.

 

117.3Steve Read, Director of Environment and Public Protection introduced the report with a presentation (copy appended to the signed minutes), which highlighted the lack of momentum in increasing recycling rates across the county and confirmed that £2 million will be put aside to introduce a food waste recycling scheme.

 

117.4 The Committee made comments including those that follow. It:

 

·       Welcomed the report but expressed disappointment that the £40 million of recycling credits paid to West Sussex’s district and borough councils had not led to rises in recycling rates.

 

·       Welcome that some of the funding would be used to push ahead with a kerbside food recycling scheme quickly, rather than waiting for the outcome of the Government’s Review.

 

·       Acknowledged that the withdrawal of the recycling credits could lead to a deterioration in relationships with the district and borough councils.

 

117.5Resolved – That the Committee agrees that this proposal is sensible as some of the savings will be invested in projects that will work more effectively. That the Committee welcomed the creation of the £2m fund for such new initiatives.

 

 

118.

Review of Library Offer pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Draft decision report by the Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities.

 

The Committee is asked to consider and comment on the proposals to cease the Mobile Library Service, and reduce evening opening hours in those static libraries where these currently apply.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

118.1The Committee considered the draft decision report by the Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

118.2Lesley Sim, Head of Libraries, Heritage and Registration introduced the report with a presentation (copy appended to the signed minutes), which highlighted potential areas to make savings to meet the budget gap faced by the Library Service.

 

118.3The Committee made comments including those that follow. It:

 

·       Raised concerns regarding whether the loss of the mobile library service would result in more social isolation in rural areas but welcomed that support would be available to help the 50 or so people who would now have difficulty in accessing the Library Service.

 

·       Questioned whether the reduction in evening opening times was necessary in view of the very small savings that this would make.

 

118.4 Resolved – That the Committee

 

1.   Supports the proposal to remove the mobile library service providing sufficient mitigation is put in place.

 

2.   Suggests that more is done to publicise the Home Service

 

3.   Supports the proposal for 6pm closures but would like reassurance that this will not affect the Community Hubs strategy.

 

119.

Business Planning Group Report pdf icon PDF 118 KB

The report informs the Committee of the Business Planning Group meeting held on 1 July 2019, setting out the key issues discussed.

 

The Committee is asked to endorse the contents of this report, and particularly the Committee’s Work Programme revised to reflect the Business Planning Group’s discussions (attached at Appendix A) and the WSFRS Operational Performance Report (attached at Appendix B).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

119.1The Committee considered a report by the Chairman of the Business Planning Group (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

119.2 Resolved – That the report be noted.

120.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Extract fromthe ForwardPlan dated 2 September 2019.

 

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:

120.1The Committee considered the Forward Plan dated 12 September 2019 (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

120.2Resolved – That the Forward Plan be noted.

121.

Possible Items for Future Scrutiny

Members to mention any items which they believe to be of relevance to the business of the Select 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:

121.1The Committee requested further details on the A29 Realignment Scheme and asked that officers obtain an update on the Arun Local Plan.

 

121.2The Committee would also like to have 278 agreements brought to Committee at some point.

122.

Date of Next Meeting

An additional meeting of the Committee will be held on 21 October 2019 at 2.00pm at County Hall, Chichester.  This will be to discuss the County Council’s draft response to the Highways England consultation on the latest proposals for the A27 at Arundel.

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 10 October 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An additional meeting of the Committee will be held on 21 October at 2.00pm at County Hall, Chichester. This will be to discuss the County Council’s draft response to the Highways England consultation on the latest proposals for the A27 at Arundel.