Agenda and draft minutes

Environment, Communities and Fire Select Committee
Monday, 14th January, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: County Hall, Chichester

Contact: Lisa Etchell on 033 022 23597  Email:  lisa.etchell@westsussex.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

52.

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:

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

 

·         Mr Jones as a member of Crawley Borough Council in relation to Call-in Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments – ENV11 18.19

·         Mrs Purnell as a member of Chichester District Council in relation to Call-in Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments – ENV11 18.19

·         Mr Baldwin as a member of Horsham District Council in relation to Call-in Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments – ENV11 18.19

·         Mr Purchese as a member of Arun District Council in relation to Call-in Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments – ENV11 18.19

·         Mr Oakley as a member of the Fire & Rescue Service Task and Finish Group in relation to Operations and Public Protection Savings Proposals and as a member of Chichester District Council in relation to Call-in Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments – ENV11 18.19

·         Mr Barrett-Miles as a member of Mid Sussex District Council in relation to Call-in Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments – ENV11 18.19

·         Mrs Brunsdon as Chairman of North Mid Sussex County Local Committee in relation to Savings Proposals – Reduction to the Community Initiative Fund and as a member of Mid Sussex District Council in relation to Call-in Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments – ENV11 18.19

 

53.

Part I Minutes of the 6 December 2018 meeting pdf icon PDF 78 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the Part I minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018 – attached (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

53.1 Resolved – that the Part I minutes of the Environment, Communities and Fire Select Committee held on 6 December 2018 be approved as a correct record, and that they be signed by the Chairman.

 

54.

Responses to Recommendations pdf icon PDF 55 KB

The Committee is asked to note the Cabinet Member’s responses to the Committee’s recommendations.

 

a)  Procurement of a Highways Maintenance Contract

The Committee is asked to note the Cabinet Member’s Response to the Committee’s Recommendations on the Procurement of a Highways Maintenance Contract – attached.

 

b)  Gatwick Airport Draft Masterplan 2018

The Committee is asked to note the Cabinet Member’s Response to the Committee’s Recommendations on the Gatwick Airport Draft Masterplan 2018 – attached.  

 

c)   On-Street Parking to Support Traffic Management

The Committee is asked to note the Cabinet Member’s Response to the Committee’s Recommendations on the On-Street Parking to Support Traffic Management – attached.  

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a) Cabinet Member’s Response to the Committee’s Recommendations on the Procurement of a Highways Maintenance Contract

 

54.1 The Committee noted the Cabinet Member’s Response to the Committee’s Recommendations on the Procurement of the Highways Maintenance Contract. 

 

b) Cabinet Member’s Response to the Committee’s Recommendations on the Gatwick Airport Draft Masterplan 2018

 

54.2 The Committee noted the Cabinet Member’s Response to the Committee’s Recommendations on the Gatwick Airport Draft Masterplan 2018.

 

54.3 Members made the following comments:

 

·         Disappointment was expressed that the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure had shown a preference in support of the proposals in the County Council’s response to the Gatwick Airport Draft Masterplan; which didn’t reflect the previous position on the airport’s expansion taken by the County Council or the Committee.  Mr Elkington, Head of Planning Services advised that a number of issues including the concerns over safeguarding and the existing runway had been addressed in the response and that the Committee’s recommendations along with key issues debated by members at the full County Council meeting on 14 December 2018 had also been included.

 

c) Cabinet Member’s Response to the Committee’s Recommendations on the On-Street Parking to Support Traffic Management 

 

54.4 The Committee noted the Cabinet Member’s Response to the Committee’s Recommendations on the On-Street Parking to Support Traffic Management.

 

54.5 Members made the following comments:

 

·         Raised concerns that the County Local Committees (CLCs) had been excluded from the decision making process and that the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure had not taken the views of the CLC Chairman or the concerns of the Committee into consideration in moving the proposals forward. Mr Ekinsmyth, Head of Transport and Countryside advised that members would be kept further informed as the scheme was developed. The Chairman reiterated the Committee’s previously agreed recommendation that members should have a say on any plans that come out of the Road Space Audits and he agreed to write again to the Cabinet Member to emphasise that members should have more involvement.

55.

Operations and Public Protection Savings Proposals pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Report by Executive Director Communities and Public Protection – attached.

 

This report sets out proposals for achieving the portfolio savings target for 2019/20.

 

The Committee is asked to scrutinise the proposals.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

55.1 The Committee considered a report by Executive Director Communities and Public Protection (copy appended to signed minutes). 

 

55.2 The report set out the proposals for achieving the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) portfolio savings target for 2019/20.

 

55.3 The Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities thanked members for their contribution towards the scrutiny of the proposals and their work to address some of the concerns. She advised that in relation to the Technical Rescue Unit (TRU) savings proposals within the report, the County Council had recently received a letter from the government in respect of funding. In light of this, the proposed TRU savings would not be included in the proposals. 

 

55.4 Nicola Bulbeck, Executive Director for Communities and Public Protection added that there had now been alterations to the proposals for the savings, with fewer reductions being sought. She believed that the FRS was an important and valued service, but due to the current unprecedented budget challenges, savings and efficiencies had to be made in order to meet financial constraints. In her view, the proposed savings could safely be made without impacting on the County Council’s statutory duties and could be delivered to a safe and satisfactory standard.

 

55.5 Gavin Watts, Director of Operations and Chief Fire Officer introduced the report and advised that the government grant towards funding the TRU would be removed from April 2020. He recognised that this would leave the County Council with difficult decisions to be made, but that it had been given time to work through what the implications would be. Key points of the proposed savings were:

 

·        Fire Service Operations - there was a proposed reduction of £400,000 in Intervention and Prevention activities. This included the restructure of the Intervention and Prevention team and the removal or cessation of various public awareness schemes or activities, school education visits and electric blanket testing.

 

·        Public Protection - there was a proposed restructure of the Resilience and Emergencies team (RET). This included the removal of some public and parish council training courses and a reduction in assistance to the County Council directorates in terms of Business Continuity Plan preparations and the Sussex Resilience Forum.

 

·        A staff consultation on the proposals was running from 7 to 25 January 2019.

 

55.6 The Chairman then read a statement submitted to the Committee by Joe Weir, Regional Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU). Members had received copies prior to the meeting.

 

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

 

·         Queried the legality of withdrawing any preventative work that had previously been included in the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP), which had undergone a public consultation and been formally adopted. Also whether reputational damage to the County Council had been factored into the decision process. Mr Watts advised that in his view a further public consultation was not necessary, as these were not statutory functions that were being proposed for withdrawal. Reputation had to be factored in and opportunities for alternative funding were currently being pursued.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Savings Proposals - Reduction to the Community Initiative Fund pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Report by Director of Law and Assurance – attached.

 

It is proposed that the budget for the Council’s Community Initiative Fund (CIF) be reduced from £280,000 per year to £140,000 per year from April 2019.

 

The Cabinet Member is asked to consider reducing the CIF budget to £140,000, on a basis of £2,000 per member of the Council, from April 2019. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

56.1 The Committee considered a report by Director of Law and Assurance (copy appended to signed minutes). 

 

56.2 Tony Kershaw, Director of Law and Assurance introduced the report which proposed that the budget for the Council’s Community Initiative Fund (CIF) be reduced from £280,000 per year to £140,000 per year, or £2,000 per member of the Council, from April 2019. He advised that member feedback would feed into the Cabinet Member decision.

 

56.3 The Chairman added that the use and effectiveness of the ‘West Sussex Crowd’ funding platform previously adopted in May 2018 for all CIF applications would be subject to a 12 month review by the Committee.

 

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

 

·        Recognised that the current financial environment meant that spending by the County Council had to be prioritised, but suggested that the vast majority of County Local Committees (CLCs) had been consistently spending their CIF funding and since demand for funding was not falling, queried the rationale for the proposed reduction when it the existing funding was already considered low. Mr Kershaw advised that the proposal was based on the regular overall underspend of CIF funds and the arrangements in place since the crowdfunding model had been introduced had shown an increase in funding from other sources.

 

·        Welcomed that other sources were contributing towards funding local projects, but raised concerns that the crowdfunding application process was lengthy and difficult and could hinder accessibility for smaller groups and businesses. Nick Burrell, Senior Advisor, Democratic Services advised that in terms of system usability the questions were similar to the previous CIF application process, so there was little difference in process. Different ways of breaking up the amount of information required for lesser funds were also being explored. The Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities added that information was currently being collated to help inform the review, including usability and accessibility, in particular for smaller groups.

 

·        Queried what the early termination costs and consequences of the 3-year contract with current providers of the crowdfunding platform ‘Spacehive’ would be, and what the current costs were in administrating the platform were. 

 

·        Raised concerns over the role of CLCs and their ability to have a positive impact on communities, as evidence pointed to CIF being a well-used fund to assist local good causes. 

 

56.5 Mr Oakley made the following proposal, seconded by Mrs Purnell which the Committee considered: -

 

That the allocation for CIF Funds be reduced to £0.

 

56.6 A vote was held and the proposal was lost.

 

56.7 Mr Jones made the following proposal, seconded by Mr Purchese which the Committee considered: -

 

That the Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities postpone her decision until after the review of the ‘West Sussex Crowd’ has concluded in the spring; and that any CLC underspending this year is not put back into the County Council’s reserves but is carried over to next year’s CLCs’ CIF funds.

 

56.8 A vote was held and the proposal was carried

  

56.9 Resolved –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Requests for Call-in

The Environment, Communities and Fire Select Committee Business Planning Group received a request to call-in the proposed decision by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure concerning the Bus Strategy 2018-2026 and Financial Changes to the Non-Commercial Bus Network HI23 (18/19) – decision published on the Executive Decision Database on 19 December 2018 and in the Members’ Information Service 19 December 2018. The BPG declined the request.

The BPG also received a request for call-in of the proposed decision by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure concerning the Interim Highway Maintenance Term Contract HI21(18/19) – decision published on the Executive Decision Database on 18 December 2018 and in the Members’ Information Service 19 December 2018. The BPG declined the request.

Two further requests for call-in of the proposed decisions by the Cabinet Member for Environment concerning Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments (ENV11 18.19) and by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure concerning Highways Maintenance Term Contract Procurement (HI22 18.19) were accepted by the BPG and will be heard in item no’s 12 and 13.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

57.1 The Environment, Communities and Fire Select Committee Business Planning Group (BPG) received a request to call-in the proposed decision by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure concerning the Bus Strategy 2018-2026 and Financial Changes to the Non-Commercial Bus Network HI23 (18/19) – decision published on the Executive Decision Database on 19 December 2018 and in the Member’s Information Service 19 December 2018. The BPG declined the request.

57.2 The BPG also received a request for call-in of the proposed decision by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure concerning the Interim Highway Maintenance Term Contract HI21(18/19) – decision published on the Executive Decision Database on 18 December 2018 and in the Member’s Information Service 19 December 2018. The BPG declined the request.

57.3 Two further requests for call-in of the proposed decisions by the Cabinet Member for Environment concerning Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments (ENV11 18.19) and by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure concerning Highways Maintenance Term Contract Procurement (HI22 18.19) were accepted by the BPG and heard in item no’s 12 and 13.

58.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Extract fromthe ForwardPlan dated 2 January 2019 – 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:

58.1 The Committee considered the Forward Plan dated 2 January (copy appended to signed minutes).

 

58.2 Resolved – That the Forward Plan be noted.

 

59.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on 13 March 2019 at 10.30 am at County Hall, Chichester.  Probable agenda items include:

 

·         Highway and Transport Improvement Schemes

·         Road Safety - Safer Sussex Roads Partnership

·         Community Hubs

·         Updated guidance on parking in new developments

·         Velo South

·         Major Events Protocol

·         People Culture Strategy

·         Economy Growth Plan - Action Plans

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 1 March 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

59.1 The Committee noted that its next scheduled meeting will take place on 13 March 2019 at 10.30am at County Hall, Chichester.

 

59.2 An additional meeting of the Committee has also been scheduled for 30 January 2019 at 10.30am at County Hall, Chichester.

60.

Call-in: Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments - ENV11 18.19 pdf icon PDF 320 KB

The Environment, Community and Fire Select CommitteeBusiness Planning Group has agreed to call in the proposed decision by the Cabinet Member for Environment concerning Revisions to Recycling Credit Payments – decision published on the Executive Decision Database on 14 December 2018 and in the Members’ Information Service on 19 December 2018 ENV11 18.19.

 

The decision report asked the Cabinet Member for Environment to agree that:

 

1) The County Council formally notifies all of the County’s District and Borough Councils of the termination of the current Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) funding arrangement.

 

2) The County Council adopts a calculation for payments to be made to waste collection authorities of £61.12 per tonne for the financial year commencing 1April 2019.

 

3) The Director of Energy Waste and Environment is authorised to work with District and Borough partners on an alternative approach to any payments related to improved recycling performance from 2020/21. This to take into account:- (a) Changes in producer responsibility funding for household recycling collection and processing signalled in the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy; (b) Any proposals that emerge from discussing performance improvements with the D&B partners; and (c) Overall affordability, given the County Council’s projected financial position.

 

4) Authority is delegated to the Director of Law and Assurance to settle arrangements for the removal of references to the MoU in the Materials Resource Management Contract and the Recycling and Waste Handling Contract.

 

a) Decision report by Executive Director of Economy, Infrastructure and Environment and Director of Energy, Waste and Environment – attached.

 

The call-in was initiated by Chris Oxlade, supported by Sue Mullins, Brenda Smith, Brian Quinn, Daniel Purchese, James Walsh and Kate O’Kelly. The decision has not previously been previewed by the Environment, Communities and Fire Select Committee

 

b) Call-in request – attached.

 

Chris Oxlade has been invited to outline the reasons for the call-in request to the Committee.

 

Ms Deborah Urquhart (Cabinet Member for Environment) has been invited to address the Committee and answer questions.

 

Lee Harris, Executive Director, Economy, Infrastructure and Environment will also be in attendance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

60.1 Mrs Mullins introduced the request, in the absence of Mr Oxlade, to call-in the decision by the Cabinet Member for Environment concerning the Revisions to Recycling Payments – ENV11 18.19; (call-in request appended to the signed minutes) and highlighted the following points:-

 

60.2 In her view, the key reasons for disputing the decision were that it was a bad example of partnership working with the district and borough councils, with no lead-in time for the changes or support for the County Council’s partners; and she further believed the decision was potentially open to legal challenge. Added to this, for areas with more densely populated housing and flats it could mean that future recycling rates would be lower, which could see an increase in waste to landfill.

 

60.3 Deborah Urquhart, Cabinet Member for Environment addressed the Committee, highlighting the following points:

 

60.4 The County Council had always endeavoured to adopt the best recycling approach. In order to drive up performance rates, and together with the district and borough councils, as much as possible needed to be removed from the waste stream to deliver cleaner and improved recycling. More effective collection arrangements were needed and as the current payments were unusually generous, with a lack of clarity as to what the funding was actually being spent on, it was therefore no longer fit for purpose to deliver the required improvements.

 

60.5 Legal advice received had advised that the County Council having provided the required infrastructure and receiving no contribution from collection authorities for this had no duty to support the financial cost to collection authorities in respect recycling collection. The proposal was to develop joint plans so that payments to the district and borough councils would be to reduce waste, but still give enough scope to allow for performance related funding. Overall the waste and recycling diversion process fell short of its potential, with the current system not delivering value for money.

 

60.6 Mr Kershaw, Director of Law and Assurance advised that there was no explanation given in the call-in to support the claim the proposals were unlawful.  The County Council has a statutory duty to safely dispose of waste, whilst district and borough councils undertake collection.  The system of credits should be used to compensate collection authorities for additional costs associated with recycled waste they deal with.

 

60.7 The Chairman then referred the Committee to two statements, one collectively received from Arun District Council, Adur & Worthing Councils, Chichester District Council, Crawley Borough Council, Horsham District Council, and one from Mid Sussex District Council which were distributed to members prior to the meeting.

 

60.8 Mrs Purnell as a member of Chichester District Council didn’t take part in the debate.

 

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

 

·        Raised concerns over the possible legal challenge arising from the proposals with a suggestion that the legal advice received by the County Council be made available to partners in order to mitigate the risks. Mr Kershaw advised that if there was uncertainty  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

61.

Call-in: Highways Maintenance Term Contract (HMC) Procurement - HI22 18.19 and Highways Maintenance Term Contract - Options Appraisal pdf icon PDF 65 KB

The Environment, Community and Fire Select CommitteeBusiness Planning Group has agreed to call in the proposed decision by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport concerning the HMC Term Contract Procurement – decision published on the Executive Decision Database on 18 December 2018 and in the Member’s Information Service on 19 December 2018 HI22 18.19

 

The decision report asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure to agree:

 

The commencement of a procurement process to procure a Highways Maintenance Term Contract, or set of contracts, to commence on expiry of the interim contract (with any required extensions); and

 

To delegate authority to the Director of Highways and Transport to finalise the terms of and award the Highway Maintenance Term Contract, or set of contracts at the conclusion of the procurement process, and to extend if appropriate in accordance with the County Council’s Standing Orders on Procurement and Contracts.

 

a) Decision report by Executive Director of Economy, Infrastructure and Environment and Director of Highways and Transport – attached.

 

The call-in was initiated by Sue Mullins, supported by Brenda Smith, Chris Oxlade and Brian Quinn.

 

b) Call-in request – attached.

 

Sue Mullins has been invited to outline the reasons for the call-in request to the Committee.

 

Mr Elkins (Cabinet Member for Highways and infrastructure) has been invited to address the Committee and answer questions.

 

Lee Harris, Executive Director, Economy, Infrastructure and Environment will also be in attendance

 

c) Highways Maintenance Contract Procurement Options Appraisal Summary and update

 

Report by Executive Director Economy Infrastructure and Environment and Director of Highways and Transport – attached.

 

This report sets out the various options being considered for future service delivery. The first part of the Highways Maintenance Contract procurement process is to narrow down the available options, and to identify a preferred option, using an options appraisal. The report is to update Committee on progress with the new procurement, and to support preview of the preferred option, identified through the initial options appraisal. 

 

The Committee is asked to consider the suggested scope and timing of the procurement process.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

61.1 Mrs Mullins introduced the request to call-in the decision by the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure concerning the Highways Maintenance Term Contract Procurement – HI22 18.19; (call-in request appended to the signed minutes) and highlighted the following points:-

 

61.2 In her view, the Cabinet Member decision had been premature as road-related issues were of major concern to many residents in West Sussex and it was important to give the Committee the ability to scrutinise the options available before a new contract, which could be in place for up to 10 years, was awarded.

 

61.3 She believed that a collaborative approach with partners was needed and a summary of best practice based on visits to other local authorities (LAs), with further detail would be helpful to members, as there had been no identification of how the £1.5 million of savings required would be achieved. 

 

61.4 She also added that with the implementation of outsourcing within the contract, there was always a risk to reputational damage, so to avoid further loss of money it was essential to get the procurement right and ensure previous mistakes weren’t made.

 

61.5 The Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure advised that a Local Government Association (LGA) Peer Review had been carried out in 2016, a summary of which was available to members. Feedback had been given on the previous contract, but no underlying facts were discussed. Detail had also been included in the report, but best practice based on LA visits was in reference to the earlier contract. The Options Appraisal also included detail over delivery and further opportunities.  In respect of the in-house sourcing option, there had been detailed consideration but there were risks in delivering this model due to the considerable expertise and skills needed, which were difficult to attract in the public sector. The added risk would be increased overheads and liability for any faults in works carried out, otherwise covered by the contractor.

 

61.6 The Mixed Economy Single Supplier Framework option was currently considered the most favourable, as greater flexibility could be achieved when a number of contractors delivered services. Savings were not intended to be achieved just through the procurement of the service contract, but more would be known once the process had been completed.  All the options had now been refined and it was hoped that some of the savings outlined would be achieved. 

 

61.7 Matt Davey, Director for Highways and Transport, added that preparatory work on service delivery had already been undertaken, including detailed conversations with suppliers, as the current process was an extension of the previous procurement process which begun in 2016. He had appointed someone to carry out the independent Options Appraisal which included a comprehensive evaluation of all service options. This had then been narrowed down to 3 options that were deemed appropriate to look at in more detail.

 

61.8 On reflection, the previous single supplier option was now not thought to be the best solution, mainly due to a change in the market  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Part II Minutes of 6 December 2018 meeting

The Committee is asked to agree the Part II minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018 – attached.

 

Exempt: paragraph 3, financial or business affairs of any person (including the authority).

 

Minutes:

62.1 Resolved – that the Part II minutes of the Environment, Communities and Fire Select Committee held on 6 December 2018 be approved as a correct record, and that they be signed by the Chairman.