Agenda and minutes

Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 9 May 2018 10.00 am

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

Contact: Laura Powick 

Items
No. Item

64.

Apologies

To note any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Keith Rippington.

 

There were no substitutions at the meeting.

65.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 7 March 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 March 2018 were agreed and signed by the Chair.

66.

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.

67.

Air Pollution and its Impact on Public Health Task Group pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To receive a report on the task group’s recommendations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Jeremy Hilton, Chair of the Air Pollution and its Impact on Public Health Task Group, presented the report and recommendations of the task group to the Committee.

 

On 12 July 2017, the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee received a report on the Air Quality Schools Pilot Project. Following a discussion, the Committee agreed that a task group should be established to consider further issues relating to air pollution. The task group met four times between November 2017 and April 2018, which included hosting a multi-stakeholder workshop on air quality in Gloucestershire, to carry out its research and consider its recommendations.

 

Cllr Hilton explained that the report, which set out 12 high-level recommendations, was a starting point to address the issue of air pollution and its impact on public health in Gloucestershire. In particular, the task group identified the need for better air quality monitoring, as evidence for air pollution levels within the County is currently based heavily on modelled data. The task group therefore recommended that a Gloucestershire Air Quality Monitoring Group, comprising of relevant officers from the district and county councils be established by the end of September 2018.

 

The task group also recognised the need for increased partnership working across both private and public sector organisations to drive forward strategies to improve air quality and to reduce the impact of air pollution on public health in Gloucestershire. Cllr Hilton highlighted the enthusiasm across organisations to address air quality in the County, which was evidenced at the multi-stakeholder workshop. The task group therefore recommended that a Gloucestershire Air Quality and Health Partnership, comprising of representatives from both public and private sector organisations, including the relevant Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet Member, be established by December 2018 to drive the development and delivery of the agenda for air quality and health in Gloucestershire.

 

Several members thanked the task group members and officers for the work that had been undertaken, and welcomed the report and its recommendations.

 

One member asked for clarification on the sources of air pollution for Gloucestershire and on partnership working with neighbouring local authorities on air quality.

 

Cllr Rachel Smith expressed the view that the recommendations were not ambitious enough, and proposed several amendments. There was a particular discussion regarding the proposed amendment of Recommendation 9 of the report. Cllr Rachel Smith expressed the view that the original recommendation was too vague and should be more specific. Cllr Hilton explained that the recommendation was high-level, and that it would be up to officers to consider how to technically implement the recommendations.

 

The Committee discussed the proposals; however, on being put to the vote, the majority of members (7) voted against amending the report recommendations, and in favour of the report being presented to Cabinet for its consideration at its meeting on 6 June 2018. Cllr Rachel Smith voted against the report being presented to Cabinet.

 

68.

Public Rights of Way pdf icon PDF 103 KB

At Full Council on 14 February 2018, an amendment to the 2018-19 budget was proposed to allocate £50,000 revenue recurring to Public Rights of Way to fund an additional member of staff.

 

The amendment was not supported, however it was agreed that the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure  would investigate the issues, including timescale and officer capacity, and report back to the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee on 9 May 2018.

 

The Committee to receive a report from the Cabinet Member.

Minutes:

At full Council on 14 February 2018, an amendment to the 2018-19 budget was proposed to allocate £50,000 revenue recurring to Public Rights of Way to fund an additional member of staff. The amendment was not supported; however, it was agreed that the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure would investigate the issues, including timescale and officer capacity, and report back to the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee on 9 May 2018.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure, presented the report on measures to address the backlog of applications for Modification Orders to the Definitive Map.

 

The Committee was informed that the current resource allocated to the Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) team was currently adequate, and with the commencement of the relevant legislation, would be sufficient to reduce the backlog by the 2026 deadline. However, there was a risk that some applications may not be determined within the stipulated 12 month determination deadline, and that the current resource would also not be sufficient should there be an increase in applications leading up to the 2026 deadline.

 

It was therefore recommended that the numbers of applications continue to be monitored, that the existing team continue to explore ways of moving applications through the process in a timely manner, and that the Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure investigates potential funding for a fixed-term outreach post to liaise with and proactively manage demand from affected organisations.

 

Several members raised concerns over the number of outstanding applications. It was noted that the sections of the Deregulation Act 2015, which would allow officers to deal with particular applications in a more streamlined manner had not yet been commenced.

 

The Committee considered the report in detail. Following the discussion, the Commissioning Director committed to consider recruiting to an outreach post as soon as possible within the next 6 months, and for a report from the post holder to be received by the Committee 6 months from the commencement of their role.

 

It was also agreed that the Cabinet Member would write to the Local Government Association to determine whether any work was underway to lobby the Government on the production of guidance for the Deregulation Act 2015, and that the Cabinet Member would update the Committee on progress with the processing of DMMOs in 6 months’ time. Additionally, regular updates would be included in the Commissioning Director’s report.

 

69.

Chief Fire Officer Report pdf icon PDF 112 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, Chief Fire Officer, presented the report to the Committee, which detailed information on the portfolio of services provided by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS).

 

In particular, the Committee was informed that the GFRS People and Organisational Development Strategy 2018-2023 was launched on 1 April 2018, that GFRS had developed its Capital Procurement Plan up to 2023, and that the GFRS Service Liaison Lead had now been appointed. Additionally, Registration Services had merged with Libraries, and Jane Everiss had taken on the new role of Head of Libraries and Registration.

 

Members noted that an update on the revised Fire and Rescue National Framework, which would be coming into force on 1 June 2018, would be provided to the Committee in due course.

 

Members were also informed about a fire at a Grade 1 listed building in Gloucester City Centre on 7 May 2018. One member requested to see the incident report for the fire. It was also clarified that details of this incident would be included on a data system for fire fighters to access in the future.

 

In response to a question, it was explained that GFRS was engaging with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service to share best practice in preparation for the HMICFRS inspection.

 

In response to a further question, it was clarified that energy efficient and low sulphur green diesel fire engines would be considered in the procurement of new fire engines.

 

70.

Commissioning Directors Report pdf icon PDF 218 KB

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

Minutes:

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

 

a)    Feedback on the low emission and electric vehicle car pool scheme for staff members had been positive. Regular updates on the scheme would be included in the Commissioning Director’s Report;

b)    In response to a High Court ruling in February 2018, DEFRA had issued a direction to 33 towns and cities in England where air quality levels did not meet EU legal limits for Nitrogen Dioxide, which included Cheltenham. DEFRA had given these towns and cities until 31st July 2018 to respond with proposals to comply with these limits. Officers from Cheltenham Borough Council and the County Council were liaising with each other on a response;

c)    In an update on the Cheltenham Transport Plan, the trial closure of Boots Corner under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order would be delayed to commence at the end of June 2018;

d)    In an update on the Highways England Forward Fund, the County Council’s Expression of Interest for an M5 Junction 10 upgrade had been successful, and that the County Council had been invited to enter the ‘co-development’ phase, working with Government to develop a business case for M5 Junction 10; and that

e)    A report on waste transfer services procurement had been considered and approved at the Cabinet meeting in April 2018, which would impact on Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough Councils. Officers at the district and county councils were holding conversations on the best way forward.

 

Members asked questions, in particular, on the road safety review, funding for the development of M5 Junction 9, waste and transfer station licences, Great Western Railway services, highway maintenance following the severe winter, Hempstead Household Recycling Centre, and the residual waste project.

 

It was requested that the County Council’s response to the Government’s consultation on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework be circulated to Committee members.

 

The Committee noted the report.

71.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 57 KB

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

Minutes:

At its meeting on 11 July 2018, the Committee would receive a report on libraries, particularly on how libraries had developed, the range of services provided by libraries, and community hub relationships. The Committee would also receive a report on electric vehicle infrastructure.

 

It was proposed that, at the September meeting, dual hatted Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee (GEGSC) and Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee members would provide an update on GEGSC’s consideration of an item on national park status for the Cotswolds. A report on the performance of Trading Standards would also be received.

72.

Future meetings

11 July 2018

19 September 2018

7 November 2018

Minutes:

The Committee noted the meeting dates for the remainder of 2018.