Agenda and minutes

Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday 8 March 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Cabinet Suite - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Joanne Moore 01452 324196 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To note any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

No apologies.

 

The Chairman noted that this was the last meeting of the committee under the current administration and thanked members and officers for their work during this time. He stated that the aim of the meeting would be to reflect on the work of the committee during the past 4 years and to consider what areas of work might be suggested as priority issues for the incoming committee to refer to. The meeting to take the form of a ‘review’ meeting, with progress reports on the scrutiny task groups undertaken by the committee during the past year and updates on key issues from officers.

 

At the first meeting of the new committee on 14 June 2017, incoming members to consider the views of this committee when prioritising items for discussion at future meetings.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2017 (attached).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2017 were confirmed and signed as a correct record of that meeting.

 

Cllr Cordwell advised of one correction to the minutes, and clarified that, under item 6, (Commissioning Director’s Report), on page 4 of the minutes, the £175 million funding awarded by the Department of Transport Safe Roads Fund towards road improvements was a ‘national’ total, for which it was anticipated Gloucestershire County Council would receive 1%. The correction was noted.

 

a)    Gloucestershire Joint Waste Committee – Update

At the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting on 13 July 2016, the committee requested an update on the role and work of the Joint Waste Committee.

 

An update from the Chairman of the Joint Waste Committee and the Head of the Joint Waste Team was provided at the committee meeting on 11 January 2017, taking into account the ‘waste’ motion considered at the Gloucestershire County Council meeting on 14 September 2016, and the request for the ‘Joint Waste Committee to consider ways in which the county’s recycling rates could be improved’.

 

Following an in-depth and comprehensive discussion, (at the January meeting), members commended the enthusiasm of the waste team in promoting recycling initiatives across the whole of Gloucestershire, and spoke in support of the continued work of the Joint Waste Committee.

 

The committee noted that the Joint Waste Committee endeavoured to work closely and cooperatively with all authorities, and was committed at looking at more effective ways of recycling and in sending out positive messages to residents about the benefits of recycling and reuse. The committee acknowledged there was still a ‘long way’ to go in achieving some of the key objectives.

 

Key messages from the discussion at the committee meeting on 11 January 2017 included; i) a recommendation that the County Council support a proposal for the Joint Waste Committee to review key performance indicators, focussing specifically on the introduction of a performance indicator relating to residual waste arisings; ii) promoting an integrated waste service across Gloucestershire; iii) that the Joint Waste Committee review current systems and practices to identify shortfalls and improvements for the future and, iv) that the committee consider what opportunities there might be to avoid potential disparities in delivering services to communities located across the boundaries of more than one district authority.

 

The Chairman of the Joint Waste Committee and the Head of Service had welcomed the committee’s comments, including the proposal that the County Council support a change in Key Performance Indicators and the request that the council lobby Government to encourage more ‘producer responsibility’ when responding to the growing cost of recycling durable items, including food and drink cartons. The overall consensus at the meeting was that the Joint Committee endeavour to create a single and integrated waste service for Gloucestershire.

 

To note: Appendix 3 of the scrutiny report presented at the council meeting on 22 March 2017 provided the Joint Waste Committee’s response to Council Motion 777, (actions taken to improve recycling rates).  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the committee are invited to declare any pecuniary or personal interests relating to specific matters on the agenda.

 

Please see note (a) at the end of the agenda

 

Minutes:

Cllr Phil Awford declared a non-pecuniary interest as a member of the Severn and Wye Flood and Coastal Committee.

4.

Chief Fire Officer Update pdf icon PDF 116 KB

The committee to: -

 

a)    Note a report from the Chief Fire Officer, detailing information on the portfolio of services provided by the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council (report attached).

 

b)    Receive an update on issues raised in response to Motion 769 (Registration Service) at the Gloucestershire County Council meeting on 11 May 2016 and at the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting on 13 July 2016 (report attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)    Chief Fire Officer Report

 

The committee received a report from Stewart Edgar, Chief Fire Officer, detailing information on the portfolio of services provided by the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. Please refer to the following link to view the report. 

 

http://glostext.gloucestershire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=673&MId=8401&Ver=4

 

In response to concerns raised at the previous meeting regarding the increase in the number of house fires caused by some domestic appliances, (tumble dryers), the Chief Fire Officer advised that ‘Whirlpool’ had recently reviewed it’s earlier position and was now advising consumers to unplug affected models and not use before modification of the appliance had taken place. Full details of the advice can be found on the Whirlpool website at the following link:

 

http://www.arla.co.uk/news/february-2017/whirlpool-tumble-dryers-the-latest-safety-advice.aspx

 

Having attended the LGA Annual Fire Exhibition and Conference in Gateshead the previous day, (7 March 2017), the Chief Fire Officer updated members on issues relating to the ‘Policing and Crime Act 2017: Emergency Services Collaboration’, which had received Royal Assent on 31 January 2017.

 

In noting the information, it was agreed the Chief Fire Officer would provide regular updates to all members, commencing with a detailed briefing paper and presentation to the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee at the first meeting of the new committee on 14 June 2017. 

 

b)   Motion 769 – Registration Service 

 

Members received a progress report on the outcome of Council Motion 769, (Registration Service), considered at the 11 May 2016 council meeting. The progress report was welcomed by all members. Cllr Graham Morgan, (mover of the motion), was particularly pleased with the improved performance of the service and the positive actions taken in response to the motion. Cllr Chris Coleman commended Cabinet Member, Cllr Nigel Moor, and the efficiency in which the issue had been resolved and suggested that the process be identified as an example of effective scrutiny during the induction programme for the new council.

5.

Commissioning Director Report pdf icon PDF 260 KB

Nigel Riglar, Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure to: -

 

a)    Give a verbal update on current issues;

 

b)    Suggest items for discussion by the newly elected committee post the county council elections in May 2017;

 

c)    Present the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Performance Report(Quarter 3) 2017/18

Minutes:

The Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure, gave a verbal update on current issues.

 

Key issues included: -

 

      i.        A40 Elmbridge Court Roundabout Improvement Scheme – it was confirmed that works were currently on target and in budget. The scheme was due for completion in Autumn 2017.

 

    ii.        Growth Deal Funding – the Commissioning Director updated members on an announcement made by the Government in February, confirming the award of £29.13m funding to the GFirst LEP in the latest round of Growth Deal funding. It was reported that the funding was considerably higher than anticipated in what had been most competitive round of funding to date. 

 

The Commissioning Director confirmed that, when considering the bid, the government had reviewed the county’s portfolio and had chosen to award the funding allocations selected to enable Gfirst LEP deliver the top three prioritised projects within the submission. These included;

 

Longford Housing Project: £4.53 million

Cyber Park Project: £22 million

Forest of Dean Campus Project: £2.6 million

 

The total allocation at the end of the third round of the Growth Deal submission had now reached £106.6 million.

 

Expressing disappointment on how some of the projects had not received the sought after funding, the Commissioning Director informed members that key projects would remain on the list of funding priorities and continue to be considered worthy of funding as future opportunities.

 

   iii.        Canal Trust Decision – members were informed that a report would be going to Cabinet on 29 March 2017 seeking the allocation of funding from the Local Transport Capital Settlement to support Stroud District Council’s proposed Heritage Lottery bid for linking the restored section of the Stroud Water Canal to the National Canal network. Subject to the successful outcome of the bid, the County Council to allocate £700,000 over four years towards the project.

 

Performance Indicators

 

Members noted the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Performance Report (Quarter 3) 2017/18 and performance scorecard indicator. .

 

Having noted the information, the following items were put forward as suggestions by officers as possible items for the new committee to consider post the county council election on 4 May 2017: -

 

Transport Planning

 

1)    Transport innovation

 

2)    Data dissemination

 

3)    Air quality

 

4)    Cycling

 

5)    ITU Total Transport Project

 

6)    Future transport schemes – funding considerations  

 

7)    Transport mitigation and economic growth in Gloucestershire

 

Flooding Issues

 

1)    Local Flood Risk Management Strategy and Annual Implementation Plan

 

2)    EA Severn Estuary Flood Risk Management Strategy

 

Highways

 

1)    Highways Customer Satisfaction Surveys – Council Motion 772

 

2)    Highways Contract Renewal

 

3)    Highways Advisory Group – new arrangements

 

4)    Update on LED Lighting

 

5)    Pavements – Council Motion 787

 

 

Broadband

 

1)    Fastershire Broadband – this item to be reported via the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee

 

2)    Updates to Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee on Growth Deal funding agreements 

 

Other

 

1)    Better by Digital

 

2)    Housing delivery

 

3)    Minerals Local Plan

       

4)    Energy from Waste investment to reduce disposal costs

 

5)    Devolution

 

6)    Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service – including the possibility  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Task Group Review pdf icon PDF 324 KB

To note the progress of the following task group reviews: -

 

a)    Climate Change

 

b)    Access to and from the Forest of Dean

 

c)    A429 Fosse Way

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received progress reports on the progress of the task group reviews conducted during the past year, relating to i) Climate Change; ii) Access to and from and the Forest of Dean; and iii) A429 Fosse Way. 

 

The Chairman of the task groups, Cllrs Sarah Lunnon, Patrick Molyneux and Paul Hodgkinson were invited to the comment on the progress of the reviews, with Cabinet Member: Fire, Planning and Infrastructure, Cllr Nigel Moor, responding to questions.

 

Further reviews to be considered by the new committee at future meetings.

 

7.

Work Plan 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To review the work of the committee before considering items for discussion by the newly elected committee post the county council elections on 4 May 2017 (work plan attached).

Minutes:

Members reviewed the work of the committee over the course of the current council and suggested items for review by the new committee, post the County Council elections on 4 May 2017.

 

The key items proposed for future scrutiny included: i) Issues relating to the Policing and Crime Act 2017: Emergency Services Collaboration; ii) Extension of the Highways Contract 2017; iii) Advice from Gloucestershire County Council, (as Lead Local Flood Authority), to Local Planning Authorities; iv) Infrastructure Planning.

 

Members noted that the new committee would also receive updates on Council Motion 722 – Highways Customer Satisfaction Survey; Council Motion 787 – Pavements; and the Air Quality Schools Project, (following a question from Cllr Sarah Lunnon at the full council meeting on 17 February 2016).

8.

Future meetings

14 June 2017

12 July 2017

20 September 2017

22 November 2017

Minutes:

14 June 2017

12 July 2017

20 September 2017

22 November 2017