Agenda and draft minutes

Communities, Highways and Environment Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 30th September, 2021 11.00 am

Venue: Virtual meeting with restricted public access

Contact: Jack Bacon on 033 022 25075  Email:  jack.bacon@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

12.

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:

12.1     No declarations were made.

13.

Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee pdf icon PDF 120 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 9 June 2021 (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13.1     Resolved - that the minutes of the meeting held on 9 June 2021 be approved as a correct record, and that they be signed by the Chairman.

14.

Managing Demand at Recycling Centres pdf icon PDF 88 KB

A report by the Director of Environment and Public Protection.

The Committee is invited to consider:

 

1.   How the pilot scheme worked, and any learning arising from the pilot;

 

2.   The extent to which the evidence supports making the arrangements permanent, and the proposed widening of scope; and

 

3.   How well learning will be addressed in the proposed future arrangements.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

14.1     The Committee considered a report and presentation on managing demand at recycling centres (copies appended to the signed minutes).

 

14.2     Summary of responses to members comments and questions: -

 

·         Although some household recycling centres took trade waste for a fee, most was dealt with at private sites

·         Material that was subject to fly-tipping was not the sort of material that household recycling centres dealt with

·         There was anecdotal evidence that some Bognor Regis residents resented the booking trial and the limit on visits allowed although feedback showed 60% were in favour of the system

·         The system of five visits a month was working well, but the Council would wait for the outcome of consultation before reviewing this

·         If the system became permanent, consideration would be given to providing an app for bookings

·         There was confidence that the system would be cost neutral

·         A concern was raised regarding the state of the WSCC-owned access road to The Woodhorn Group’s green waste recycling centre in Tangmere. It is perceived as a potential deterrent for private contractors with small vehicles and a contributing factor to subsequent green waste fly-tipping in the local area

·         Changes to paperwork by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs could explain the increase in fly-tipping of green waste

·         Sites could be added to the system if there were major issues at them such as congestion

·         If same day bookings were introduced, the cost would be absorbed by existing arrangements

·         As some sites did not accept trailers, some people would have to go to sites that did

·         Capacity at sites in Horsham and Littlehampton could be improved in the future

 

14.3     Resolved – that the Committee: -

 

     i.        Looks forward to the possibility of making the pilot booking system permanent at the Bognor Regis, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham and Worthing recycling centres and extending the booking system to include the Burgess Hill recycling centre, going to public consultation and receiving the feedback so the County Council can make a more informed decision on making this initiative permanent or not.

    ii.        Welcomes the fact that same day booking and the introduction of an app to make it easier for people to book is being explored

   iii.        Asks the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change to note concerns around fly-tipping and the site at Bognor Regis

15.

Local Flood Risk Management Strategy pdf icon PDF 148 KB

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

 

The Committee is invited to consider:

 

1.   How well the draft LFRMS sets out how flood risk from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses will be managed in West Sussex over the next five years and that the strategic approach, including the focus on 25 Priority Areas, will deliver the strategic objectives in the draft Strategy;

 

2.   That the draft 2021/26 Strategy sufficiently reflects any learning arising since its original adoption in 2013;

 

3.   That the criteria for selecting the 25 Priority Areas are sound; and

 

4.   That Members are clear how value for money will be measured and monitored under the draft Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

15.1     The Committee considered a report and presentation on the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (copies appended to the signed minutes).

 

15.2     Summary of responses to members’ questions and comments: -

 

·         A lot of work had been carried out in areas of Bognor Regis that suffered from flooding in 2012 – these areas would be covered by the strategy but are not in the top 25 areas for concern

·         Co-operation between councils and water authorities had improved since 2010 which had helped alleviate some historical problems - all district and borough councils had drainage engineers which also helps

·         The actions the Council takes to ensure repairs to drainage systems are made by landowners is successful meaning legal action is not required

·         Ditch wardens were used on the Manhood peninsular to spot potential drainage problems early – this scheme could be rolled out across the county

·         The Council is building a database on underground highways assets as little is known about them

·         If the Council learns of damage to drainage systems by utility companies, it works with them to resolve the issues

·         The Council was working with Southern Water to deal with groundwater problems throughout the county

·         District and borough councils received funding for drainage projects via the Community Infrastructure Levy

·         Work took place with developers on betterments to drainage problems that fell outside of Community Infrastructure Levy or Section 106 projects

·         The Committee was promised a briefing note on areas of responsibility for flooding matters and the top 25 areas of concern listed in priority order

 

15.3     Resolved – that the Committee: -

 

     i.        Welcomes the improvements made to the strategy for 2021-2026 acknowledging the criteria for the 25 at risk areas, but requests that they be presented in prioritised order from

    ii.        Welcomes a briefing note on who is responsible for what in managing flood risk

   iii.        Acknowledges the challenge of accessing funding

  iv.        Asks that consideration should be given to the deliverability of actions for the priority areas with the time and resources available and the resilience of the Council to deal with climate change rainfall events

    v.        Encourages more proactive enforcement of repairs to degrading drainage systems

16.

End of June 2021 (Quarter 1) Quarterly Performance and Resources Report pdf icon PDF 98 KB

A report by the Director of Law and Assurance, setting out the finance and performance position as at the end of June 2021.

 

The Committee is asked to examine the data and supporting commentary for the performance and resources report and make any recommendations for action to the relevant Cabinet Member.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

16.1     The Committee considered the end of June (Quarter 1) Quarterly Performance and Resources report (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

16.2     Summary of responses to members’ questions and comments: -

 

·         It was seen as a good thing that people continued to contact the community hub – most people now needed signposting to services rather than practical help

·         The target of 7.5km of new cycle paths a year was based on length of designated paths, not quality, and did not include those in new developments. No new cycle paths were built on roads

·         Longer term funding would improve the scheduling of building cycle paths – weather was not expected to cause delays

·         The Council was in dialog with the contractor to clear the backlog of defects which would be made worse by a bad winter

·         The Council paid the contractor a fixed sum to repair a fixed number of defects and agreed a fee with them if the number of repairs needed was exceeded

·         Maintenance of A and B roads only used capital investment if there were problems

·         There was no evidence that e-scooters were a specific factor in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads – figures for accidents involving e-scooters were not recorded separately

 

16.3     Resolved – that the Committee: -

 

     i.        Acknowledges the issues around the registration service and where Covid has impacted and how we anticipate this to improve moving forward now as restrictions are easing

    ii.        Acknowledges what the uptake of the digital offer in libraries

   iii.        Acknowledges the challenge and importance of risks and performance issues, and the reliance upon officers flagging these

  iv.        Is content with the new format of the Performance and Resources Report

17.

Highways Maintenance Contracts pdf icon PDF 444 KB

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

 

The Committee is invited to consider the performance of the West Sussex Highways service and works delivered through the contracts, and identify any areas of concern.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

17.1     The Committee considered a report and presentation on the highways maintenance contracts (copies appended to the signed minutes).

 

17.2     Summary of responses to members’ questions and comments: -

 

·         The Council was generally satisfied with the way the different highway maintenance contracts are being delivered but there was room for improvement with Lot 1 – Core Maintenance Services

·         The biggest challenge going forward was maintaining a balance across all lots by not taking for granted those working well and focussing too much on those not doing so well

·         The Council was confident it had adequate supervision of contracts although this was time consuming

·         The shortage of HGV drivers had impacted on the number of gritter lorry drivers available – training staff to make up for this could be an option

·         Some drainage targets had been missed as chambers could not be reached due to them being obstructed by parked cars

·         The current delivery model is working better than previous ones and is the best possible with the resources available, but it was acknowledged that this still might not live up to residents’ expectations

·         Road quality suffered from lack of investment nationally and the volume of traffic, particularly HGVs, not the weight of HGVs

·         HGVs were encouraged to take primary routes where possible, but had to use minor roads for things such as deliveries, waste collection and bus routes

 

17.3     Resolved – that the Committee: -

 

     i.        Acknowledges that very soon the whole process of procuring highways maintenance contracts starts again and requests that the Committee is involved as and when appropriate

    ii.        Would like to know more about what the impact may be over the winter of a shortage of HGV drivers and how that impacts on service delivery

   iii.        Would like a better understanding of the drainage infrastructure

  iv.        Requests training on this subject when and where appropriate

18.

Establishment of a On-Street Parking Management Task and Finish Group

The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport intends to adopt a new On-Street Parking Management Policy Framework, in 2021. The framework will include rules for the consideration, implementation, review and removal of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ), the governance process relating to individual proposals, and incorporate an initial three-year programme for CPZ development.

 

The Committee is asked to note the establishment of a Scrutiny Task and Finish Group (TFG) to provide Member input to the Policy Framework preparation.

 

Given the preparation timeline, the TFG will meet once (informally, date TBC) and report directly to the Cabinet Member, but its final recommendations will be published on the agenda of the next convenient formal meeting, likely in January 2021. The meeting will likely be held late October or early November.

 

The membership comprises:

·         Carson Albury

·         Andrew Baldwin

·         Caroline Baxter

·         John Milne

·         Simon Oakley

 

A Chairman will be appointed by the Group at the outset of its meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

18.1     Resolved – that the Committee agrees the membership of the On-Street Parking Management Task and Finish Group as Cllr Albury, Cllr Baldwin, Cllr Baxter, Cllr Milne and Cllr Oakley.

19.

Establishment of a Gatwick Airport Northern Runway Consultation Task and Finish Group

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) is undertaking a public consultation on a proposal to bring the Northern Runway into routine use for certain flight departures. The consultation closes on 1 December 2021.

 

The Northern Runway Project is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) requiring a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State (rather than planning permission from the local planning authority).  The County Council is a statutory consultee in the DCO process; one of its responsibilities is to respond to the consultation.

 

The Committee is asked to note the establishment of a Scrutiny Task and Finish Group to meet once (informally) to act as a critical friend prior to approval of the consultation response – either on 10 or 11 November (TBC).

 

The Cabinet plans to approve the County Council’s response to the consultation when it meets publicly on 16 November. The Group’s Chairman will address this Cabinet meeting to inform Cabinet’s deliberations on the findings of the TFG, prior to the decision being taken.

 

The membership currently comprises:

·         Carson Albury

·         David Britton

·         Simon Oakley

 

The Business Planning Group has agreed that Cllr Britton should chair the Group.

 

Members are invited to volunteer to join the Group, which must be cross-party and comprise no more than seven members.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1     Resolved – that the Committee agrees the membership of the Gatwick Airport Northern Runway Consultation Task and Finish Group as Cllr Albury, Cllr Britton, Cllr Oakley, Cllr Quinn and Cllr Milne.

20.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Extract fromthe ForwardPlan dated 15 September - 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:

20.1     Resolved – that the Committee notes the Forward Plan of Key Decisions.

21.

Work Programme Planning and Possible Items for Future Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 48 KB

The Committee is asked to note its Work Programme revised to reflect the Business Planning Group’s discussions on 17 September 2021

 

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:

21.1     The Committee considered its work programme and possible items for future scrutiny.

 

21.2     Resolved – that the Committee agrees the following changes to its work programme: -

 

·         No savings proposals would be coming to the November meeting

·         Preview of any decision on the future of Operation Watershed to come to the Committee (probably in 2022)

·         Annual monitoring of the Highways Maintenance Contract and procurement on new contracts to come to the Committee at the appropriate time

·         The Flood Risk Management Strategy to be reviewed again in 2023

22.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on 24 November 2021 at 10.30 am at County Hall, Chichester. Probable agenda items include:

·         Review of the New Approach to using Community Groups to Deliver Highways Services

·         2022/23 Savings Proposals

·         2030 Energy Strategy

·         Domestic and sexual violence and abuse

·         Future of Community Highways Schemes.

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by Friday 12 November 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

22.1     The next meeting of the Committee will be held on 24 November at 10.30 am at County Hall, Chichester.