Agenda and minutes

Environment Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 12 July 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Sophie Benfield 

Items
No. Item

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 754 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 10 May 2023.

Minutes:

2.1       The minutes of the meetings held on 10 May 2023 were approved as a correct record.

 

2.2       Reviewing the actions from the previous meeting, it was noted by the Chair that the Public Transport Network Review was not part of the Task Group’s terms of reference but had been added as an item to this Committee’s work plan.

 

2.3       The Chair also confirmed that the action to co-opt a member from the Gloucestershire Youth Climate Group onto the Environment Scrutiny Committee had not yet been completed but was currently in progress and would likely be ready for the September meeting.

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:

There were no declarations of interest.

4.

Update on the Electric Vehicle Strategy pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider the attached update on the Electric Vehicle Strategy.

Minutes:

4.1       Steve Lowe, Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) Programme Manager, was invited to present an update on the Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy. This was supported by Philip Williams, Assistant Director of Traffic and Transport, and Jason Humm, Director of Transport and Highways. The following points were highlighted:

 

·           Following feedback from the letter drop, 26 locations had been identified for phase one of the EV charge points. The installations would commence in August 2023. After the 26 locations had been installed, there would be a second phase of installations. Officers suggested this could reach around 160 additional locations but would be dependent on the outcome of the current Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) bid.

·           Regarding Staff Fleet EV Migration, 20 Gloucester Industrial Service (GIS) vehicles would be replaced with 20 EVs in two phases from 2023-2024. There had been approval for 37 EV charging sites for charging these vehicles.  It was confirmed that the first 5 sites would be installed within the next three months.

·           The first migration of Edge of Care vehicles has been installed with 6 Nissan Leaf’s in use with 6 designated charging points.

·           The Officer highlighted the EV solutions within the new Arle Court Transport Hub. It was confirmed that in the multi-storey carpark there would be a phased installation of 100 EVCPs including rapid chargers (50kw).

·           Finally, the Officer gave an update on the Voi Technology Ltd E-Scooter trial. He stated there would be 310 scooters with 170 bays with the expectation of the number increasing overtime. It was emphasised that E-Scooters were a very efficient transportation method and would help to reduce the need for using a car. Voi Technology Ltd had a proven track record of being a great E-Scooter provider in Bristol.

 

Questions

4.2       A few members asked why Stroud had not been included in the first phase of EVCP rollout. The Officer confirmed that there had initially been 4 areas located in Stroud for EVCPs but due to a range of issues cited by both the town council and residents, they were unable to progress with the installations. He stressed however that the first phase was a small start and that the second phase would include many more locations. It was confirmed he would work with the Communications team to make sure this is emphasised when the EVCP roll-out began.

4.3       A few members asked about whether they could suggest specific locations within their divisions. It was confirmed that input was welcomed from members, and officers would be working closely with the district and parish councils as well.

ACTION – Steve Lowe to confirm the best way to submit EVCP locations requests from members.

4.4       In response to a question, officers confirmed that they would update the map (included in the presentation slides) so that it would be easier for members to see the proposed locations for Phase 2. Members could also request to see the data from the recent EVCP questionnaire on locations within their division.

ACTION – Steve Lowe  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Flood alleviation schemes pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To consider the attached report and provide feedback on the draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy Annual Progress and Implementation Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.1       James Blockley, Flood Risk Manager, provided information on the draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy Annual Progress and Implementation Plan. The following points were highlighted:

 

·           Appreciation was noted of the great work of his team. He identified that the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) was now a team of 7 with 2 Strategic Flood Risk Management Officers, 2 Sustainable Drainage Engineers, 1 Flood Risk Management Officer and 1 Natural Flood Management Officer. The team had worked hard to coordinate all county flood agencies, to accelerate GCC’s lead on flood alleviation schemes, being both proactive and reactive to flood events.

·           The Officer also gave an early warning of the potential for Schedule 3 to be enacted in England in 2024 following its earlier enactment in Wales. He explained that this would change the Lead Local Flood Authority’s position from one of assessing SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) proposals to one of needing to approve as-built SuDS. It was confirmed that whilst this would give the LLFA more control, it would mean more SuDS officers would need to be employed.

·           The team continued to focus on Natural Flood Management (NFM) due to its successful results and relative low cost. An officer position at GCC had been created to bridge the gap between the LLFA and the landowners in the hope that it would encourage the uptake of NFM schemes.

·           The Officer also confirmed that he had been in the process of revising the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy which he envisaged would change significantly from the 2014 version.

 

5.2       In response to a member’s questions about issues with combined sewers and water drainage systems, it was advised that a lot of the sewer network in Gloucestershire was old and outdated, using a combined network for both foul and surface water. The responsibility for sewer maintenance lay with the local sewage companies, who were currently investing a substantial amount of money into retrofitting systems to try and direct surface water away from the combined network.

 

5.3       Highway drainage was highlighted as a responsibility of GCC and a percentage of GCC’s £2.1m (minimum) commitment per year to address flooding was directed to highways to help with drainage improvements. Members were advised to use the Highways’ ‘Report It’ function to report issues with drainages and the Flood Risk email for any other flooding issues: floodriskmanagement@gloucestershire.gov.uk.

 

5.4       Many of the members emphasised their gratitude for the team and the work they have done on flood alleviation schemes.

 

5.5       A member asked about the difference between the LLFA and the Local Planning Authority remits. The Officer conveyed that the LLFA were the statutory consultee for major developments i.e those over 10 dwellings, greater than 1 hectare, or with greater than 0.1 hectare of new non-residential floor space. Anything under this would go to the local planning authority.

 

5.6       Responding to a question about landowner resistance to natural flood management, it was advised that proposed new agricultural subsidy arrangements – the Environmental Land Management (ELMS), was not yet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT: ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT & INFRASTRUCTURE pdf icon PDF 215 KB

The attached report is to be taken as read and members have 30 minutes allocated at the meeting to ask questions. Members are encouraged to pre-submit questions beforehand if they are able via Sophie Benfield in Democratic Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was taken as read and the attached questions were pre-submitted by the members in advance of the meeting and answered verbally. These responses are reflected in the attached document.

 

ACTION – Simon Excell to provide a copy of the Infrastructure Funding Statement

 

 

7.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To review the committee work plan and suggest items for consideration at future meetings.

Minutes:

7.1       The Chair updated members that the Air Quality item earmarked for September needed to be delayed until November due to a new officer starting in the team.

 

7.2       A member requested that the Bus Improvement Task Group report be added to the November meeting.

           

7.3       There was a request for an item to look at highway’s responsibility to comment on planning applications. Officers suggested that this could involve input from the district planning authorities. It was confirmed that DSU and officers would work offline to scope an item for members to consider.

 

ACTION:       Democratic Services/Jason Humm

 

ACTION:       Democratic Services to share a reminder of the Committee Terms of Reference to highlight the key areas for this Committee within the Executive Director’s portfolio.

 

 

 

For a full overview of this meeting, please use the following link to access the recording https://gloucestershire.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts