Agenda and minutes

Environment Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 15 July 2020 10.00 am

No. Item



To note any apologies for absence.


No apologies were received.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2020.


The minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2020 were approved.


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.


No declarations of interest were made.


Executive Director's Report: Economy, Environment and Infrastructure pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Colin Chick, Executive Director of Economy, Environment & Infrastructure to update the Committee on current issues.


Quarter 4 performance data is included at the end of this report.


Appendix 1 to this report is a brief update on the Definitive Map Modification Order outreach post.

Additional documents:


4.1       Colin Chick, Executive Director of Economy, Environment and Infrastructure, updated the Committee on current issues. In particular, members noted that:


·         The team were still experiencing an incredibly busy period at the moment as they began to restart services.

·         Highways Maintenance teams returned to carrying out inspections a few weeks ago and were trying to catch up on the backlog before continuing with the 2020/21 maintenance programme.

·         It was highlighted that these same teams had been supporting the recent flood efforts in the county and had therefore capacity had been very stretched.

·         The 2020/21 maintenance programme had changed slightly due to the challenges faced by the pandemic. The teams were prioritising those schemes which were doable at the moment, and those which presented more difficulty would be delayed for the time being.

·         The Gloucester South West Bypass / Llanthony Road scheme was still awaiting a public enquiry hearing. It was due in May (2020) but postponed due to Covid. The Planning Inspectorate had considered a virtual hearing initially but concluded it would be very complicated. This scheme was therefore still on hold and will experience delays in delivery.

·         The team received 60 schemes back from the 6 district councils for the Department of Transport Emergency Active Travel Fund bid which officers have had to prioritise. There were currently 4 trial schemes being rolled out on Bath Road (Cheltenham), London Road (Gloucester), Tewkesbury High Street and Bourton on the Water.

·         Gloucestershire overachieved on the Tranche 1 funding and was awarded in total, £320,000 which was 110% for what was bid for.

·         Officers were now working towards the next funding tranche which had a fairly demanding set of criteria and will be a more competitive bid.

·         Public Transport had been an especially challenging area for the Council and officers have had to act in advance of Government guidance becoming available in order to avoid a collapse of the sector.

·         For home to school transport, following the 2 metre social distancing guidance has not been possible. In order to fulfil its existing capacity the Council would need a 10 fold increase in its bus fleet which simply was not accessible in this current climate. The compromise was agreed for as much distance to be achieved as possible within buses/taxis (normally 1-1.5 metres), with the addition of face coverings being provided by the Council for drivers and children.

·         Bus services will aim to be completely restored by mid-August 2020.

·         Parking enforcement had now been reinstated after being reduced during the peak of lockdown. This had moved inline with the traffic demand which had already returned to around 80% by July.

·         After being awarded funding, the A417 scheme now faced a significant delay due to a late objection from the National Trust. The scheme was now subject to a full review.

·         Phases  1 and 2 of the West Cheltenham scheme started on site in June 2020. Phases 3 and 4 were due to be in contract in January 2021 but following a Government announcement that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Work Plan pdf icon PDF 54 KB

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


5.1       The Committee discussed the following points in relation to its ongoing work plan:


·         The next meeting of the Committee will be the delayed Joint Scrutiny meeting with the Economic Growth Committee to focus on the Local Transport Plan Review.


·         At full Council on 24 July 2020, the Climate Change motion 861 was passed and referred to this Committee for consideration. It was advised that officers were in discussion about a suitable timeline to bring this report. Members requested to tentative this report for the 24 November 2020 meeting.


·         Members were due to consider an update report on GCC’s highways contracts but this had to be delayed due to officer capacity. It was requested that a written report was shared with the Committee as soon as possible, via email, and DSU would co-ordinate any comments/questions from members into a summary report.


·         Regarding the Single-use Plastics Task group, Cllr Ward as Chair of the group advised they were yet to restart post-lockdown. It was agreed that their first meeting would need to understand how much work was left to do and they would aim for a final report to share with the Committee by November. Due to the heavy work plan for the November meeting already, it was agreed that this report would be shared via email and DSU would co-ordinate any comments/questions from members into a summary report.


·         At the previous meeting of the Committee, an action for DSU was to understand whether ‘Motion 787: Footways’ that was currently on the possible future items list needed to be considered again. Members were advised that when the motion was last considered in 7 March 2018, the Committee concluded that the best practise approach being used to maintain footways but they would keep an eye on its progress. Members requested that a brief update be brought as an appendix to the Directors report at the November 2020 meeting.