Agenda and minutes

Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 12 July 2017 10.00 am

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

Contact: Laura Powick 

Items
No. Item

19.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Stephen Hirst.

 

Cllr Shaun Parsons substituted at the meeting for Cllr Hirst.

20.

Minutes of the previous meeting - 14 June 2017 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2017 were confirmed and signed as an accurate record of that meeting.

21.

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:

No declarations of interest were made.

22.

Air Quality Monitoring Schools Project pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To review the pilot study and consider next steps.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Philip Williams, Lead Commissioner: Community Infrastructure, introduced the Air Quality Monitoring Schools Project report to the Committee. Orlagh Stoner, LSTF Project Officer, was also in attendance at the meeting to answer any questions the Committee had about the report.

 

The report detailed the results of the Air Quality Schools Pilot Project, which was commissioned following an amendment to the County Council budget for 2016/17 to include £50,000 to carry out an independent study of air quality outside schools. The study involved a mobile air quality monitoring van measuring air pollutants outside 5 project schools and 2 additional schools in Cheltenham, and engagement with the 5 project schools in relation to air quality awareness, active travel promotion, and healthy lifestyles.

 

In response to a query, it was clarified that schools identified to take part in the project were based within or near Air Quality Management Areas and were willing to fully engage with the project.

 

The results of the snapshot study, which took place in February and March 2017, indicated that air pollution levels were higher outside schools at school drop-off times during term time, however, during half term, pollution levels were higher in the middle of the day. Members noted that the highest Nitrogen Dioxide reading was measured outside Leckhampton Primary School.

 

Members were informed that, moving forward, engagement with schools to promote awareness of air pollution should continue, opportunities to coordinate investment could be explored, and the national picture needed to be considered. The Committee noted that DEFRA will be reporting back on its air pollution consultation later this year.

 

Members discussed in depth the results of the Air Quality Schools Pilot Project and considered ways in which air pollution could be addressed within Gloucestershire.

 

It was proposed that a scrutiny task group be established to consider issues relating to air pollution. This was seconded, and the proposal for a task group was agreed by the Committee. Cllr Jeremy Hilton and Cllr Rob Bird were nominated to scope the one page strategy for the task group outside of the Committee meeting.

 

23.

Policing and Crime Act 2017: Emergency Services Collaboration pdf icon PDF 259 KB

To receive an update on the report commissioned by Gloucestershire County Council to understand the implications of proposals resulting from the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Stewart Edgar, Chief Fire Officer, provided the Committee with an update on the report commissioned by Gloucestershire County Council to understand the implications of proposals resulting from the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

 

It was explained that there were three provisions included in the Act which related to fire and rescue services, including the ability for the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to take over the governance of fire and rescue services, where a business case supported such an approach and where the Home Secretary had agreed.

 

Members were informed that the legislation proposed several different governance model options for fire and rescue services, and the process for a decision on a shift of governance was explained to them. The Committee also noted the estimated costs associated with moving to a PCC governance model, and the initial conclusions detailed in the update report.

 

The Committee was informed that an initial options appraisal to inform any business case for a change of governance had been completed for the PCC in Gloucestershire by consultants, who had since been re-commissioned to make progress to outline business case. The PCC in Gloucestershire had received public funding of £100k to support the development of the business case.

 

In response to a query, it was highlighted that Essex County Fire and Rescue Service was expected to be the first fire and rescue service to move across to PCC governance, and that the move was amicable. In response to a further query, the different types of fire authorities was explained to the Committee.

 

The Committee recognised that collaborative work between the emergency services in Gloucestershire already occurred, notably that GFRS and Gloucestershire Constabulary shared estates at Waterwells.

 

It was noted, in response to a query, that a period of consultation would follow the completion of the PCC’s outline business case, and that should a shift to PCC governance of GFRS  be agreed, it would likely not occur before 2019.

 

24.

Commissioning Directors Report pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Nigel Riglar, Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure to update the committee on current issues.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Nigel Riglar, Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure, updated the Committee on current issues. In particular, members noted that:

 

a)    In an update on the highways contract, it would be business as usual with Amey over the next 18 months;

b)    In relation to the additional funding of £100k for the 2017/18 TRO budget, which was agreed at full Council in February 2017, ways to make more permanent funding available were being considered;

c)    The tender process for the Traffic Signal Maintenance Contract was currently underway, with the intention of awarding the new contract in July 2017;

d)    Whilst there had been some noise in relation to commuter and resident parking, the Cheltenham West parking scheme had mostly gone well;

e)    Phase one and two of the Cheltenham Transport Plan had been completed, that monitoring outputs from phase two were positive, and that the start of phase three was dependant on other construction work in the area;

f)     A visit was due from the Road Minister, particularly in relation to the Elmbridge Court Roundabout Improvement Scheme and the A417 Missing Link;

g)    In an update on the Joint Core Strategy, a joint position statement would hopefully be agreed with Highways England and presented to the examination Inspector;

h)   Work was underway to understand the interrupted electrical supply to the Hempstead Household Recycling Centre; and

i)     The first tranche of Growth Hub Tier 3 libraries would be live by September 2017.

 

Clarification was sought regarding the £14.1m major tail-end funding, included in the initial £62.5m Growth Deal funding announced in July 2014, which had been reduced to £9.07m to be paid directly from the Department of Transport for the Elmbridge Roundabout Scheme. Clarification was also sought on the Strategic Transport Modelling Access Protocol, and on progress with the Kemble car park TRO.

 

In response to a query relating to the Capital Programme 2017/18, it was explained that liabilities were reviewed at monthly Capital Programme meetings and were discussed at Lead Cabinet Member meetings. There was also a query regarding the level of spending on cycling under the Capital Programme 2017/18.

 

It was noted that an update on the third river crossing would be brought to a future meeting.

 

25.

Chief Fire Officer Report pdf icon PDF 296 KB

The committee to 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.

Minutes:

Stewart Edgar presented the report, which detailed information on the portfolio of services provided by GFRS.

 

The Committee noted that, following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London on Wednesday 14 June 2017, all high and medium-rise premises in Gloucestershire had received a door to door reassurance visit and fire risk inspection. It was confirmed that two high reach towers could be mobilised in the case of a fire at a high rise building in the County. It was noted that revised advice from the Government regarding fire safety in high rise buildings was anticipated.

 

There was also a discussion regarding access to schools in an emergency.

26.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To review the committee work plan and suggest items for consideration at future meetings. (Work plan attached).

Minutes:

In addition to agreeing the proposal for a scrutiny task group on air pollution, the Committee requested to receive an update on Motion 772: Highways Customer Satisfaction Survey at the meeting on 20 September 2017, and a briefing on the Minerals Local Plan on 22 November 2017.